Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler said he left it all out on the floor in Game 5 after his team escaped with a tight win over the Los Angeles Lakers to stay alive in the NBA Finals. Butler posted his second triple-double in the series as he scored 35 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 11 assists to help the Heat win 111-108 and reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Butler made a series of clutch plays late in the fourth quarter and led the Heat to a surprise win over the Lakers. "I'm sure they wanted to win and thought they were going to win going into it, as did we," Butler said, per ESPN.
"I left it all out on the floor along with my guys. And that's how we're gonna have to play from here on out. Like I always say: It's win or win for us." The Heat are still down to the Lakers in the series and Butler thinks the next game will be even harder for them.
"I think it's going to be even harder for us next game," Butler said. "But I like our chances."
Butler hopes Goran Dragic returns
Heat starting guard Dragic tore his left plantar fascia in Game 1 and hasn't played since.
"We’re just going to continue to fight,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on the postgame broadcast, shouting out injured point guard Goran Dragic in the process, per Yahoo Sports. “I pray, I hope that we get [No.] 7 back.
I know he wants to hoop with us, but until then we’ve got to stay together and stay in the trenches”. Heat's center Bam Adebayo was full of praise for Butler after Game 5. "He's been as close to perfect as you can possibly get," Adebayo said of Butler, per ESPN.
"On my part, I got to be better for him, so he doesn't have to carry that load as much. So my mindset is I got to be better for Jimmy, for my team." Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was also full of praise for Butler, saying every young player should study the footage on his star.
"His will to win is remarkable," Spoelstra said of Butler. "Every young player coming into this league should study footage on Jimmy Butler. The definition of a two-way player." "That's what it's all about. That's an image of a champion before you're a champion."