Lebron James He played a lot in the NBA Finals. It’s one of the stories of his career.
But Game 5 duel James Jimmy Butler The Pantheon of his career showdown immediately begins on Friday in the Miami Heat’s season-saving 111-108 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Before Friday night, James’ greatest man-to-man heavyweight-style match was still against James’ longest-running rival Paul Pierce in Game 7 of the 2008 conference semifinals. James scored 45 out of 92 for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Boston that afternoon. Pierce had 41, and the two players both played big while guarding each other, reaching their sweet spot and holding, pushing and cursing one big play. Celtics won by five.
But after this James-Butler show is over, it’s probably nailed. These two excelled at chest-to-breast all night long, peaking in the last three minutes and scoring in six consecutive possessions. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson appeared on the James v. Pierce broadcast 12 years ago, and they were there again on Friday to sing a great match.
Butler played all but 48 seconds of the match, finishing with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, and 1 block. It was a very efficient performance, featuring 11 shots at 19 at-bats, even though he had to face huge and elite defenders. Anthony Davis.
James already had one of the greatest shooter games of his completely impressive finals career. He has 15 out of 21 shots and 6 out of 3 out of his 9 is a dream number for an efficiency conscious player. He finished with 40 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.
“This is the beauty of a game that allows you to compete at the highest level,” James said. “You take the opportunity and live in the moment. You are playing for the team and trying to succeed on both sides.”
Eventually they were guarding each other. James was in Butler when he became a member of the Heat team. Jae Crowder Butler went to the basket and set up the perfect back screen to foul Davis. The next free throw was the game difference.
Butler checked James in the last play, but James faced double and triple teams when painting, leading to a three-point shot failure that could lead to a kickout. Danny Green While.
After LeBron James fell to Danny Green and missed a potential game win shot, Markieff Morris threw the ball out of bounds as the Lakers shook in the second half of match 5.
That’s how small the gap is. In the meantime, too many force offsets were displayed with subtle readings and finesse leading back and forth powerful and sublime.
In that fourth quarter, James scored 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists with the Lakers on his back while Davis was sick and hobbling. Butler scored eight points, three rebounds, and three assists, and continued to point guard with most hit stars. Gorandragichi Out with an injury to their foot.
Butler said of the battle as “what really, really, really great players do.” “But we don’t back down. We’re not ashamed. We can go to the other end and do what we do. I think [James] We had a great performance tonight. “
James scored 10 playoffs in his career when he scored 40 points. Michael JordanOf 12.
Butler has scored or supported 240 points in the last four matches. This is the highest number in the finals, except for James, who scored 245 in the 2017 finals. Jordan scored 239 points in four games in a row in 1993.
These folks are touching history and they are incredibly high standards when it comes to James. But that’s how great Butler was. And that’s how special it is to unfold between the two.
“We both tried to do that and we tried to make sure our team could win,” James said. “He was able to play once more than I could tonight and leave with victory.”
See More: What Can The Lakers Do About Jimmy Butler?