Jimmy Butler and the undermanned Miami Heat breathed new life into the NBA Finals with a gritty 115-104 upset victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday that cut the best-of-seven series deficit to 2-1.
The Heat, well aware that no NBA team has ever come back from a 0-3 series deficit to win, squandered a 14-point third-quarter lead but dug deep in the fourth to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.
Miami was without injured starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic for a second consecutive game but got a sensational outing from All Star forward Butler, who scored a game-high 40 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
LeBron James had 25 points for Lakers while Anthony Davis, a dominant force in the first two games, got in early foul trouble and lacked rhythm as he managed just 15 points.
The result: Miami Heat 115 (Butler 40) bt LA Lakers 104 (James). Lakers 2-1.