Jimmy Butler Joins LeBron James and Paul George on Exclusive List

Jimmy Butler Joins LeBron James and Paul George on Exclusive List

Published May 28, 2022
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Nathaniel S. Butler | Credit: NBAE via Getty Images

Jimmy Butler’s Game 6 performance lifts Heat over Celtics to force Game 7

The Miami Heat are not done yet. Thanks to Jimmy Butler’s monster performance on the road in Game 6, there will be a Game 7 back in Miami on Sunday. Butler poured in 47 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals, putting him in elite Conference Finals company.

Coming into this game, the only players in NBA history with at least 40 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals in a Conference Finals game were LeBron James and Paul George. LeBron’s performance came in his historic 2018 run, also against the Boston Celtics, while Paul George’s big game happened just last postseason against the Phoenix Suns. With his monster performance on Friday night, Butler joined those two as the only three players in NBA history with such a stat-line in a Conference Finals elimination game.

With this win, the Heat gain not only another chance, but a significant amount of momentum as well. Teams with Game 7 at home are historically favored to win, which now places Miami at an advantage that perhaps seemed impossible following their Game 5 loss. While this is a Boston Celtics team that has proven the ability to win on the road, Miami will take the momentum back to their home crowd, where they will look to advance to the NBA Finals for the 2nd time in three years.

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Credentialed writer covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated. NCAA broadcaster for Biola University. Follow Joey on Twitter (@joeylinn_).