Jimmy Butler says he mocked LeBron James and told the Lakers they were 'in trouble' after a masterpiece Game 3 Finals win

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty ImagesJimmy Butler during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
  • Jimmy Butler told the Los Angeles Lakers they were “in trouble” after helping the Miami Heat win a huge Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
  • After the game, Butler told reporters he was mocking LeBron James, who Butler said told him the Heat were in trouble at the end of the first quarter. The Heat are now trailing the Lakers 2-1 in the series.
  • Butler scored 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists, joining James and Jerry West as the only three players to have 40-point triple-doubles in the Finals.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jimmy Butler willed the Miami Heat back into the NBA Finalsand got the last laugh Sunday with one of the all-time great single-game performances in league history.

Down two games to none and short-handed, Butler scored 40 points on 14-of-20 shooting, with 11 rebounds and 13 assists to help the Heat get a 115-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Butler is just the third player to record a 40-point triple-double in the Finals — LeBron James and Jerry West are the other two.

After Butler scored a driving layup that put the Heat up nine with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, cameras caught Butler yelling that the Lakers were “in trouble” as Los Angeles called a timeout.

After the game, Butler told reporters that he did indeed say “They’re in trouble” and said James had said the same thing to him first in the first quarter.

“We’re not going to act like I’m just out there talking trash, because I’m not,” Butler said. “‘Bron said it to me at the end of the first. That’s what happened. I just said it to him in the fourth quarter.”

Butler later added: “LeBron has got the best of me way too many times. I respect the guy for it, but this is a different time now, a different group of guys around me.”

Butler even got approval from a former teammate, and James’ good friend, Dwyane Wade:

The Lakers played a sloppy game, with 19 turnovers. Anthony Davis was hampered by foul trouble and finished with 16 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes.

But a 2-1 series is far different from a 3-0 series. The Lakers said they were confident in their ability to play better in Game 4, but the Heat have reason for optimism, too. They have now won or tied the past six quarters, dating back to the second half of Game 2, and there’s a chance that All-Star centre Bam Adebayo could return to the floor for Game 4.

Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after Game 3: “I think we realised that we belong. They can be beat.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may have said it best after the game, censoring himself:

“How else do you say it, but Jimmy ‘effin’ Butler?”

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