2:43 AM ET
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With 46 seconds left in Friday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, arena staffers lugged bags of white and gold confetti onto the carpeted floor and set them by the baseline of the court. The celebration accessories turned out to be premature, however, largely because of Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler.
Shortly after, Butler hit two free throws to give the Heat a one-point lead. Another pair of free throws 30 seconds later gave Miami a lead it didn’t relinquish.
Butler finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 47 minutes, 12 seconds on the floor. The Heat defeated the Lakers 111-108 to force a Game 6, which will be played Sunday.
“I’m sure they wanted to win and thought they were going to win going into it, as did we,” Butler said.
The wear on Butler’s body was on display when he walked into his postgame news conference. He sat down slowly, grimacing slightly, clutching his left quadriceps and sighing. Once he settled into his chair, he got up and said he had “nothing” left to give.
“I left it all out on the