Daily Camera (Boulder)

But­ler, Heat win, force Game 6

Mi­ami re­pels Lebron, Lak­ers late to stave off elim­i­na­tion

- Sports · College Sports · Basketball · NBA Basketball · Miami Heat · Lake Buena Vista · Florida · Jimmy Butler · Miami · National Basketball Association · Danny Green · Los Angeles · Duncan Robinson · Bam Adebayo · Jae Crowder · Andre Iguodala · LeBron James · Kobe Bryant · Erik Spoelstra · Magic Johnson · Larry Bird · Wilt Chamberlain · Tyler Herro · Draymond Green · Dwight Howard

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The tro­phy was ready.

Jimmy But­ler and the Mi­ami Heat de­layed its ap­pear­ance. The NBA Fi­nals are not over, not af­ter But­ler and the Heat pulled off a vir­tu­oso per­for­mance in Game 5 on Fri­day night.

But­ler had 35 points, 12 re­bounds and 11 as­sists, and the Heat watched Danny Green’s wide-open 3-pointer in the final sec­onds bounce off the rim on the way to beat­ing Los An­ge­les 111-108 — cut­ting the Lak­ers’ lead in the ti­tle se­ries to 3-2.

Game 6 is Sun­day night.

Dun­can Robin­son had 26 points for Mi­ami, which used seven play­ers. Ken­drick Nunn had 14 points, Bam Ade­bayo 13, Tyler Herro 12 and Jae Crow­der 11. The sev­enth player, An­dre Iguo­dala, didn’t score.

They had enough.

Lebron James had 40 points, 13 re­bounds and seven as­sists for the Lak­ers. An­thony Davis scored 28 points, and Ken­tavi­ous Cald­well-pope had 16.

The Lak­ers were sec­onds away from the ti­tle be­fore the Heat ral­lied to save the sea­son.

Los An­ge­les broke out all the stops: Davis had shiny gold sneak­ers on, the hue sim­i­lar

to the Larry O’brien Tro­phy, and the team made the de­ci­sion ear­lier in the week to skip on the sched­uled pur­ple uni­forms and wear the black ones de­signed and in­spired by Kobe Bryant in­stead.

They were 4-0 in those uni­forms. They’re 4-1 now.

But Bryant, oh, how he would have loved this fight. Drama, all the way to the end.

Robin­son’s 3-pointer with 3:13 left put Mi­ami up by two, and started a stretch where the next nine scor­ing pos­ses­sions from ei­ther side re­sulted in a tie or a lead change.

Back and forth they went. But­ler got fouled with 46.7 sec­onds left, then slumped over the base­line video boards, clearly ex­hausted. He made both foul shots for a one-point lead; Davis’ put­back with 21.8 sec­onds left got the Lak­ers back on top.

Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra used his last time­out be­fore the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, just to buy But­ler a cou­ple min­utes of rest. But­ler drove the lane, drew con­tact and made both with 16.8 sec­onds left for a 109-108 lead.

The Lak­ers’ mis­sion at that point could not have been more sim­ple: Get a bas­ket, win a ti­tle.

They couldn’t do it. James found reen all alone for a top-of-the-key 3-pointer which missed, and Herro fin­ished it off with two free throws.

Mi­ami was up 93-82 with 10:17 left when James made his sixth 3-pointer of the night — on eight tries to that point.

It was go time for the Lak­ers.

James’ 3 started a 17-3 run over the next 4:50. Cald­well-pope hit a 3-pointer to put the Lak­ers up 9796, then added a bas­ket in tran­si­tion about a minute later. No­body was seated on the Lak­ers’ bench. The Heat went frigid.

But be­hind But­ler, they ral­lied.

But­ler be­came the sixth player in NBA Fi­nals his­tory to have mul­ti­ple triple­dou­bles in the same ti­tle se­ries: Magic John­son and James have both done it three times, while Larry Bird, Wilt Cham­ber­lain and Dray­mond Green have done it once.

The Heat led 88-82 af­ter three quar­ters, scor­ing 28 points in that pe­riod -- and get­ting 14 of those points on three pos­ses­sions.

But­ler scored while draw­ing a fla­grant-1 foul from Dwight Howard to start a three-point play, and Robin­son made a 3-pointer on the bonus pos­ses­sion -the se­quence tak­ing things from a tie game to a 76-70 Heat lead in a mat­ter of 13 sec­onds.

Crow­der’s four-point play with 3:01 left in the third put Mi­ami up by five, and Robin­son had a four-point play in the final minute of the quar­ter to put the Heat up six.

James had 15 points in the sec­ond quar­ter, his eighth quar­ter this sea­son with at least that many -sec­ond in the play­offs -and the Lak­ers needed them all to keep Mi­ami from build­ing what was briefly look­ing like a solid lead.

 ?? Sam Green­wood / Getty Im­ages ?? The Heat’s Jimmy But­ler is de­fended by the Lak­ers’ An­thony Davis in Game 5 of the NBA Fi­nals on Fri­day in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Sam Green­wood / Getty Im­ages The Heat’s Jimmy But­ler is de­fended by the Lak­ers’ An­thony Davis in Game 5 of the NBA Fi­nals on Fri­day in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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