Praise from all sides: NBA star Butler gets Miami back on track
The Miami Heat are far from defeated in the final series of the North American basketball league. Led by a brilliant Jimmy Butler, they won 115: 104 on Sunday (local time) and thus reduced the best-of-seven series to 1: 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The 31-year-old butler had 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds – the first so-called triple double of his playoff career.
“I kept telling the coach: I’m ready. This is the biggest stage and I’m ready, ”emphasized the leading player, whose shoulders have been under even more pressure after Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic lost. Butler obviously copes well with the responsibility. He received praise for his performance not only from Heat trainer Erik Spoelstra: “That’s what he wanted, that’s what we wanted to see. It’s hard to describe. He’s an incredible competitive guy. “
This also applies to LeBron James, the best Lakers shooter with 25 points. Because Anthony Davis, the second superstar from LA, had some fouls early on, the 16-time champion did not come to his game as usual. James isn’t worried yet: “We’re not worried. We know we can play a lot better. “
In the third duel, however, it was the Heat that triumphed from the start (22: 9). After a break, LA stabilized and even took the lead with 32:30 in the second section. But Miami recovered and ultimately decided each district for itself. James lost a total of eight balls and was so frustrated that he left the field before the end. But he still praised the strong butler: “I thought Jimmy was phenomenal. He did a great job in this great game. “
In order not to gamble away the good starting position, the Lakers now need a strong performance from their two stars again. It is uncertain whether Adebayo and Dragic will be able to return to Miami. Should it not be enough for a deployment on Wednesday night, Butler would have to step back into the breach. He has impressively demonstrated that he is capable of this. (dpa)