So do we have a series? Or did the Heat just delay a Lakers coronation for a few extra evenings?
After a poor performance by LA and Jimmy Butler having the game of his life, Miami has managed to make the NBA Finals a lot closer, and maybe slightly more intriguing, than just about everybody (other than the ultra-confident Butler) thought it’d be following Game 3.
But even after the short-handed Heat manned up for a surprising 115-104 upset victory Sunday over the Lakers behind Butler’s scintillating triple-double—40 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists—opinions shouldn’t be swayed. We can give you plenty of reasons why the Lakers let the Heat slip out of the sleeper hold LA should’ve tightened. Like Anthony Davis’s horrid game (he scored just 15 points as he was mired in foul trouble and finished a -26 for the game) or the turnovers or the fact LA was out-hustled and out-muscled following two easy wins to open the series.
For now, though, we’ll give Butler his flowers, because god damn he deserves them. He and his Heat brethren did some impressive work to earn their first win of the Finals and prevent LA from playing for a championship Tuesday.