We are guaranteed at least a Game 5 of the NBA Finals and we never thought we'd be able to say that after two blowout wins by the Los Angeles Lakers to start the series. The Heat made it a series and this is the Finals we were expecting all along. Well, to be more exact, Jimmy Butler made this a series. He singlehandedly took over Game 3 of the Finals by recording a triple-double going 40 PTS, 13 AST, 11 REB and two blocks to boot.
This is only the third 40-point triple-double in the history of the Finals. It's Butler's first triple-double of his playoff career. The exciting part for everyone except Lakers fans is that the Heat were able to answer the call and defy the odds with so many of their stars out. The troubling news is that it took a historic performance to hold off this Lakers team who feature two of the top five players in the league.
What TV Channel is Heat-Lakers on?
Heat-Lakers will be shown on ABC and ESPN Deportes at 9:00 p.m. ET. You can live stream the NBA Finals on fuboTV.
How to Watch Game 4 Heat-Lakers
When: Tuesday, October 6
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex - Bay Lake, FL
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NBA free with fuboTV)
*Game availability may be subject to your area
Butler said it himself. The Heat won because they were able to rebound. Literally rebound. In Game 1, the Lakers nearly had 20 more rebounds than the Heat and that was with their big man Bam Adebayo on the floor. Adebayo was still out in Game 3 but the Heat got promising news when he was upgraded to questionable before Game 4. The Lakers will undoubtedly adjust after this surprising loss where they were heavily favored and the Heat will need every bit of help they can get. They aren't going to get very far over against the Lakers overextending their best player. Just ask the Denver Nuggets.
All those rebounds put the ball in Butler's hands for 11.7 minutes in Game 3. His average throughout the playoffs was 5.6 minutes. This has to be the formula going forward whether Adebayo or Goran Dragić come back. It's kind of like the way you beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs is very similar to how you beat the Lakers. Keep the ball out of their hands and when the time of possession battle. In the Heat's case, with rebounds and turnovers.
Butler is confident and he should be. He is guaranteeing a win to tie this series up in Game 4. The problem is, LeBron has been to the Finals almost as much as anyone ever and he knows what it takes to adjust. He had eight turnovers last game. About the only guarantee in Game 4 is that that won't happen again. Either way, we have a completely renewed NBA Finals.
Game 4: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
Heat Odds: -7.5
Lakers Odds: +7.5
Money Line: Heat -400 - Lakers +320