Jimmy Butler revealed Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade hit him before Game 6 and encouraged to go out and dominate. The Heat's season was on the line on Friday night but Butler didn't let the team end their postseason run.
In Game 6 versus the Boston Celtics, Butler exploded for 47 points, had nine rebounds and eight assists as the Heat won 111-103 to force a Game 7 in Miami. Butler has been bothered by a knee issue throughout the playoffs but he went out in Game 6 and balled out.
"He was telling me that I could do this," Butler told ESPN's Lisa Salters after the game. "Knee a little banged up, but nobody cares. Go out there, continue to build your legacy. It meant the world to me, so I appreciate you D-Wade."
Butler crushed the Celtics
Butler lit up the Celtics for 47 points and Celtics' Jaylen Brown could do nothing but acknowledge that Butler simply balled out. Butler simply had a night as he was making shots from the perimeter, beyond the arc and was also knocking down his free-throws.
"He just had it rolling," Brown said. "Made a lot of shots that, on film, we'll live with. Made 4 3s, I don't think he's made 4 3s in a game all playoffs. But tonight he came out and he was aggressive.
He played like his back was on the wall and he had an amazing game, and we just had no answers for him tonight. We've got to do a better job ... we will do a better job on Sunday." The Heat heard Draymond Green saying before Game 6 that they were preparing to face the Celtics in the NBA Finals.
"It's funny," Heat veteran P.J. Tucker said of Green's comments. "We laughed. I thought it was funny because he knows better than anybody we still got to play the game. Got to play. There's no guarantees of anybody winning in this league on a night-in and night-out basis.
... It's kind of weird to be a player and pick another team. I don't know." Meanwhile, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is hoping Butler deliver a big Game 7 performance. "I want our guys just to embrace this moment," Spoelstra said.
"Jimmy Butler is a great competitor; he really is. You can mis-define him in a lot of different ways, but his competitive will is as high as anybody that has played this game. He put his fingerprints on this game."