With another spectacular performance by Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 111-118 and prevented LeBron James’ team from becoming champions this Friday in game 5 of the NBA final series.
When they were 109 to 108 on the scoreboard, Los Angeles had the last possession to win the game and become champions, but Danny Green missed a three-point shot and Markieff Morris, who took the offensive rebound, sent the pass out .
In a life-and-death confrontation for Miami, Butler returned to carry the team on his back, resting just 49 seconds throughout the game and scoring a spectacular triple-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Butler emerged victorious from an anthological duel with LeBron James (40 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists). “This time, we were a little lucky when Danny Green missed” the three shot, Jimmy Butler acknowledged. “We just played hard. We got to where we wanted to go in the attack, we shared the ball as we always do,” added the Florida team player.
Butler “is the competitor by definition and when it comes to a decisive game, that’s what happens”, acknowledged his coach, Erik Spoelstra. “We can’t celebrate for long,” warned Spoelstra. “You have to look ahead and be ready for the next game,” he added.
The Heat returned to play in this series without Slovenian guard Goran Dragic, one of their best scorers, who suffered a foot injury in the first encounter of the finals. That Friday, however, Butler had crucial support from point guard Duncan Robinson, with 26 points and 7 triples, and debutant Tyler Herro with another 12 points.
For the Lakers, Anthony Davis gave a big scare in the 48.4 seconds to the end of the first quarter when, after jumping for a rebound, fell to the ground hurting his right foot. The pivot hobbled to the bench, but with three minutes played in the second quarter he managed to return to the court without apparent sequels and ended the game with 28 points and 12 rebounds.
“It is a difficult defeat, we were close,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “But we will recover for sure.”
The Los Angeles Lakers, who lead the series 3-2, will have another chance to reach the league title in Game 6 on Sunday at the Disney World sports complex in Orlando Florida.
Miami 111- Lakers 108
Miami: Tyler Herro (12 points), Duncan Robinson (26), Jimmy Butler (35), Jae Crowder (11), Bam Adebayo (13) – starting team- Kendrick Nunn (14) and Andre Iguodala (0)
Lakers: LeBron James (40 points), Danny Green (8), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (16), Anthony Davis (28), Dwight Howard (2) – initial team- Markieff Morris (0), Kyle Kuzma (7), Rajon Rondo (4) and Alex Caruso (3)
Partial: 25-24, 35-32, 28-26 and 23-26
Final match schedule:
– Wednesday, September 30: Los Angeles Lakers 111 – 98 Miami Heat
– Friday, October 2: Los Angeles Lakers 124 – 114 Miami Heat
– Sunday, October 4: Miami Heat 115 – 104 Los Angeles Lakers
– Tuesday, October 6: Miami Heat 96 – 102 Los Angeles Lakers
– Friday, October 9: Los Angeles Lakers 108 – 111 Miami Heat
– Sunday, October 11: Miami Heat x Los Angeles Lakers
– Tuesday, October 13: Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat (if necessary)