Lake Buena Vista, Florida (AP)-The trophy is ready.
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat delayed their appearance. The NBA Finals aren’t after Butler and Heat show off their virtuoso performance in Game 5 on Friday night.
Butler scored 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and the heat led the Lakers in the title as Danny Green’s wide open three-pointer bounced off the rim on the way to defeat Los Angeles 111-108 in the last few seconds. A series to 3-2 that was cut.
Game 6 is Sunday night.
Duncan Robinson scored 26 points in Miami with seven players. Kendrick Nunn scored 14 points, 13 for Idris Adebayo, 12 for Tyler Herro and 11 for Jae Crowder. Seventh player Andre Iguodala did not score.
They were enough.
LeBron James scored 40 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists for the Lakers. Anthony Davis scored 28 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pop scored 16 points.
The Lakers were a few seconds away from the title before the heat rallyed to save the season.
Los Angeles broke all the stops: Davis wore shiny gold sneakers in shades similar to the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and the team skipped the purple uniform scheduled for the beginning of the week to design. I decided to wear a black uniform that was inspired by Kobe Bryant instead.
It was 4-0 in those uniforms. Now it’s 4-1.
But Bryant, oh, how did he love this fight? Drama, until the end.
Robinson’s 3’13’3 pointer raised Miami by two and started stretching. The following nine scoring possessions led to a draw or lead change from either side.
They went back and forth. Butler fouled with 46.7 seconds remaining and was clearly exhausted when he hit the baseline video board. He made both foul shots for a one-point lead. Davis’ putback with 21.8 seconds left brought the Lakers back to the top.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra used the last timeout before his next possession to give Butler a few minutes break. Butler drove the lane, pulled the contact and made both with 16.8 seconds remaining for the 109-108 lead.
The Lakers’ mission at that time was not as simple as this. Get the basket and win the title.
They couldn’t do that. James found Lean alone for the missed Top of the Key three-pointer, and the hero finished it with two free throws.
Miami was 93-82, with 10:17 left when James made his sixth three-pointer that night.
It was the Lakers time.
James ‘3 started a 17-3 run at the next 4:50. Coldwell-Pop hit three pointers to raise the Lakers to 97-96 and added a basket of transitions about a minute later. No one was sitting on the Lakers bench. The heat has become extremely cold.
But behind Butler, they repelled.
Butler has become the sixth player in NBA Finals history to win multiple triple-doubles in the same title series. Magic Johnson and James both three times, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Draymond Green once.
Heat led 88-82 after three-quarters, earning 28 points during that period, and 14 of those points on three possessions.
Butler started three-point play by pulling a flagrant 1 foul from Dwight Howard, and Robinson made three pointers with a bonus. This is the sequence from Thai Game to 76-70 Heat Lead. 13 second problem.
Clauder’s 3-minute, 01-second 4-point play raised Miami by 5, and Robinson recorded a heat-up of 6 in the last minute of the quarter with a 4-point play.
James scored 15 points in the second quarter, at least in the eighth quarter of the season (second in the playoffs). The Lakers needed everything so that Miami wouldn’t build what temporarily looked like a solid lead.
The heat led 11 people in the second quarter, but James left the Lakers afloat. Butler led by 22 and Miami 60-56.
Heat: Point guard Golandragitch (whose left fascia broke) missed four games in a row. He was injured in the first half of Game 1. … Butler scored 22 points in the first half, the second highest in heat final history. Dwyane Wade had 24 in Game 4 halftime in the 2006 finals.
Lakers: James passed Karl Malone second on the NBA’s highest-ever scoring list, including playoffs and regular season matches. … it’s James Playoffs Game No. 259, which has tied the most Derek Fishers in NBA Playoffs history.
Lakers: James passed Karl Malone, second on the NBA’s career score list, including playoffs and regular season matches. … James set a playoff record for Derek Fisher with 259 appearances.
This was the 171st game played in the bubble, not counting the 33 scrim seriouss before the regular season seed game part resumed at Disney on July 30th. Heroes and Robinson appeared most often, with 28 each. Twenty-seven players have appeared, including James, Davis, Green, Clouder, Kyle Kuzma, and Iguodala.