Jimmy Butler made it clear that as long as he's on the court, the Heat will have a chance to compete against the Lakers. On Sunday night, he confirmed that with a terrific performance, recording a 40-point triple-double while shooting 70% from the field. Butler was on a mission yesterday and his numbers only confirmed that.
To put things in perspective, Jimmy received a Game Score of 42.0, the second-highest in NBA Finals history. This is something remarkable for the swingman; the player who had a better game than him? LeBron James against the Golden State Warriors in that dramatic 2016 Finals.
Jimmy is now sitting with elite company, as some of the greatest players of all time have had these types of valuation.
Today, we're going to take a look at these players these are the eight best performances in NBA Finals history:
8. Shaquille O'Neal - 37.90 (43 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 67% FG) vs. Indiana Pacers, 2000
7. Michael Jordan - 38.90 (55 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 56% FG) vs. Phoenix Suns, 1993
6. LeBron James - 39.20 (41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 53% FG) vs. Golden State Warriors, 2016
5. Kevin Durant - 39.60 (43 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 65% FG) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 2018
4. Tim Duncan - 40.80 (32 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 64% FG) vs. New Jersey Nets, 2003
3. LeBron James - 41.30 (51 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 59% FG) vs. Golden State Warriors, 2018
2. Jimmy Butler - 42.00 (40 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists, 70% FG) vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 2020
1. LeBron James - 42.50 (41 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 59% FG) vs. Golden State Warriors, 2016
As you saw, Butler joined an elite club full of some of the best players this game has ever seen. He has repeatedly stated that he doesn't care about stats as long as his team is winning but they are too big not to notice them. Jimmy is having a terrific year and he's taken his game to the next level this Finals. If the Heat stand a chance against the Lakers, it's precise because of him.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.