Butler poured in 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a dominant performance the led the Heat to a 115-104 victory over the Lakers in Game 3 of the Finals, preventing the Heat from falling to the dreaded 3-0 deficit.
Butler became just the third player in Finals history to have a 40-point triple-double, joining Lakers forward Lebron James and Hall of Famer Jerry West.
“How else do you say it other than Jimmy F’ing Butler?” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “This is what he wanted; this is what we wanted. It’s really hard to analyze or describe Jimmy, until you actually feel him between the four lines. He is a supreme, elite competitor.”
“We won,” Butler said. “I could care less about a triple-double.”
“I hope the next game I score zero, and y’all talk like y’all wanna talk, and we win, so I can come up here and say the same thing.”
Butler gave some trash talk back to James, who Butler says told him “You’re in trouble” during a Lakers run in the first half.
“It’s competition at its finest,” Butler said. “I think LeBron got the best of me way too many times. I respect the guy for it, but this is a different time now, a different group of guys that I have around me.”
“He’s always been the type of guy you can depend on,” Heat forward Jae Crowder said. “Whatever you need — not just scoring. He can get a big rebound or big foul or big charge. Whatever you need him to do, he’ll come through.”
“I go to war for those guys because whenever they’re out there, they’re going to war with and for me,” Butler said.
Butler is confident that the Heat can build off the Game 3 victory.
“We’re going to win,” Butler said. “We’re going to compete. We’re not gonna lay down; we’re gonna fight back in this thing and even it up 2-2.”