Monday, 05 October 2020 10:22

 

Photo Credit:Getty Images.

Jimmy Butler starred as the injury-hit Miami Heat took game three of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers 115-104.

Butler's triple double of 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds helped lead the Heat to victory and they now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

"They can be beaten as long as we do what we are supposed to do," he said.

"We are here to compete. We're not going to lay down, we're going to fight back in this thing."

Game four of the series will take place on Tuesday (Wednesday 02:00 BST).

No NBA team has come back from a 0-3 series deficit to win in seven games, but the Heat were facing that prospect when they squandered a 14-point third-quarter lead.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra says Butler is rightly considered to be one of the best players in the NBA.

"It's really hard to analyse or describe Jimmy until you actually feel him between the four lines. He is a supreme, elite competitor and we needed it," he said.

"This was a very desperate, urgent game and he was doing in on both ends of the court, putting his imprint at every important part of the game.

"He's in the top percentile of this entire association in terms of conditioning and he got stronger as the game went on."

Spoelstra also revealed it was Heat legend Dwyane Wade who persuaded Miami president Pat Riley to sign Butler from Philadelphia 76ers last year.