Game 3 was nothing like the first two games of the series.
In each of the first two games, the Miami Heat gave up early first-quarter leads and then, the Lakers led by double digits for nearly all of the second half. In Game 3, however, the Heat came to play and led early but this time, held on to lead for a majority of the game.
Eventually, behind a monster performance from Jimmy Butler, Miami, without two key players in Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, got on the board and have made these Finals a 2-1 series.
Here are the player ratings from a competitive Game 3:
Jimmy Butler - 10
The Heat All-Star barely put out a foot wrong in Game 3.
Playing 45 minutes, which included nearly all of the second half, he recorded his first career playoff triple-double, finishing with 40 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, two steals, and two blocks. He is only the third player - after LeBron James and Jerry West - to have a 40-point triple-double in the Finals .
Purely by points, rebounds, and assists, he nearly had as much or more than what LeBron James and Anthony Davis had combined. It's just not the numbers but also the efficiency, he shot an incredible 14-of-20 (70%) from the field and 12-of-14 (85.7%) from the free-throw line while attempting zero 3-pointers.
Jimmy Butler is the first player with a 40-point Finals game without attempting a three since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002- Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) October 5, 2020
Lakers bench - 9
The Lakers starters weren't having a great game, especially in the beginning but their bench carried the load. Los Angeles' reserves scored more than half of the team's points - 53 of 104 - as they nearly doubled-up their counterparts 53-26.
Kyle Kuzma (23 minutes) and Markieff Morris (25 minutes) were the top scorers with 19 points apiece on a combined 9-of-19 from beyon the arc. Rajon Rondo, in his 28 minutes, finished with four points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Alex Caruso pitched in with eight points and two assists.
All of the Lakers reserves recorded a positive plus-minus.
LeBron James - 8
LeBron James was, by far, the Lakers' best player but it just wasn't enough. He did contribute across the board with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists but another stat stood out from this one - eight turnovers, that's tied for his worst in a Finals game.
Four of those eight turnovers were in the final quarter. The Heat seemed to have kept him quiet this game, not allowing any momentum altering dunks or shots other than a couple of 3-point plays.
Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk - 8.5
Butler received help from four other Heat players who scored in double figures. Among those four, the top scorers were rookie Tyler Herro and Canadian veteran big man. Both scored 17 points apiece and combined for 15 of the team's 30 points in the fourth quarter.
Kelly O comes up big off bench! 👏@KellyOlynyk provides a spark off the @MiamiHEAT bench with 17 PTS, 3 3PM in the Game 3 win! #NBAFinals- NBA (@NBA) October 5, 2020
Game 4: Tuesday - 9pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/KaLyb3lB8O
In fact, both of them stepped up in the second half, a period that the Heat trailed by double-digits in 47 of the 48 minutes from the first two games. The duo scored 26 of their combined 34 points in the second half on a great shooting efficiency of 10-of-17 from the field without committing a single turnover.
Jae Crowder and Duncan Robinson - 8
The other couple of Heat players to finish in double figures were the game's leaders in plus-minus. More importantly, they provided Butler much-needed support in the first half.
Duncan Robinson, with his +27, and Jae Crowder, with his +21, combined for 25 points, 17 of which came in the first half. The duo also contributed on the board, pulling down a combined 13 rebounds and dishing out a combined four assists.
Anthony Davis - 6
A sub-par game by his standards.
He battled foul trouble nearly all of the first half. Got going a bit in the third quarter but never seemed in rhythm. In 33 minutes, he scored 15 points to go along with five rebounds, and three assists on 6-of-9 shooting.
After LeBron, he was the team's second-highest at turning the ball over with five. After dominating the first two games, he was a game-worst -26 during his time on the floor.
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