NBA

This Date in NBA History (Oct. 4): Jimmy Butler outduels LeBron James, leads Heat to Game 3 win in 2020 Finals with historic triple-double

On Oct. 4 in 2020, Jimmy Butler outdueled LeBron James and led the Miami Heat to a 115-108 Game 3 victory.

In a game that the Heat led by as many as 14, their All-Star shooting guard finished with a 40-point triple-double for the history books. Butler recorded 40 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks on an incredible 14-of-20 shooting from the field and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.

The triple-double made him only the third player ever to record a 40-point triple-double in the Finals but the first to do so in a victory.

It also made him the first player ever to outscore, outrebound and out-assist LeBron James in a Finals game. James, who finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, was playing his ninth finals in the previous 10 years.

What's more remarkable is that Butler was suiting up alongside a Heat squad that was playing without arguably their next two best players in Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic.

He was doing the heavy lifting, and thus scored or assisted on 73 of the team's 115 points which is the second-most for a single Finals game in NBA history.

MORE: Putting Butler's Game 3 into historical perspective

Having said that, Butler and the Heat did have some help from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers, who committed just nine turnovers in Game 2 of the series which included with none from James, turned the ball over 19 times, eight of which were committed by James.

The Heat scored 17 points on those mistakes and outscored the Lakers in the paint 52-34 with Anthony Davis restricted to 32 minutes due to foul trouble.

Although the Heat won this game and fought back again in Game 5, the Lakers eventually came out on top by winning the series 4-2 to be crowned champions for the 17th time - the most in NBA history.

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