Jimmy Butler's Game 3 master class was full of guile and guts

11:38 PM ET

As insistent as the Miami Heat were that they would come into Game 3 of the NBA Finals squarely in the series, a pall descended over the team as it fell behind 2-0 in unimpressive form. They lost two key starters in Game 1 — defensive ace and offensive facilitator Bam Adebayo and point guard Goran Dragic, a catalyst in the Heat’s playoff run.

This postseason in the bubble has produced some improbable results — the Heat’s Finals berth chief among them — but the NBA rarely produces much madness in its bracket. The Finals rarely sees a scrappy underdog crowned champion. Historically, that’s reserved for the dominant and the dynastic.

Despite being short-handed and down 2-0 to a Los Angeles Lakers team with its two best players at the top of their games, the Heat summoned their pride in Game 3. Miami’s best player turned in one of the most memorable performances in NBA Finals history, while the supporting cast played Heat basketball, something coach Erik Spoelstra said was noticeably absent in the first two blowout losses. Grinding out possessions on both ends of the court, Miami held off the Lakers 115-104 on Sunday night

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