NBA

Jimmy Butler drops career-high 56 points in remarkable Heat comeback, Lakers go up 3-1

By Sports Desk April 25, 2023

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler scored the fourth-most points in NBA playoff history as he led a remarkable 119-114 comeback win in Monday's Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The win in front of Miami's home fans gave the Heat a 3-1 series lead against the league's top overall seed, and it was on the back of a spectacular 56-point explosion by Butler.

Butler had 35 points through three quarters as his Heat trailed 89-78 heading into the last period, but after the Bucks jumped ahead 101-89 with just over six minutes remaining, Miami came roaring back.

The Heat put together a 13-0 run from that point to stick their nose in front, setting up Butler to carry his team home.

Butler, a six-time All-Star, put up 21 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 56 all up, shooting 19-of-28 from the field, three-of-eight from deep and 15-of-18 from the free throw line to set a new Miami playoff franchise record.

His 56 points is tied with Charles Barkley (1994), Michael Jordan (1992) and Wilt Chamberlain (1962) for the fourth-most ever in a playoff game, trailing only Donovan Mitchell's 57 (2020), Elgin Baylor's 61 (1962) and MJ's 63 (1986).

No other Miami player scored more than Bam Adebayo's 15 points (six-of-16 shooting), although Caleb Martin provided a crucial spark off the bench with 12 points (four-of-five), nine rebounds and two steals.

For the Bucks, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific in his return from a two-game absence, putting together a big triple-double with 26 points (12-of-22), 13 assists, 10 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Brook Lopez was also immense, with the Defensive Player of the Year candidate contributing a team-high 36 points (13-of-23), 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

The Bucks will look to keep their season alive back in Milwaukee for Game 5, and if they can take that, they will head back to Miami for Game 6, with a chance to earn a Game 7 at home.

LeBron sets new career high in overtime win

LeBron James is somehow still setting career-highs in year 20, snatching down a personal-best 20 rebounds as he carried the Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 home win in Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

James had never secured more than 19 rebounds in a game before – regular season or playoffs – but he had five offensive rebounds to go with 15 on the defensive end, and his Lakers needed every bit of his efforts.

Trailing 104-102 with six seconds remaining, James was the one to nail the game-tying layup and send the contest to overtime, and he would drain the dagger in the extra period as well with a three-point play against Grizzlies rival Dillon Brooks to jump ahead 113-108 with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

The four-time NBA Finals MVP finished with 22 points on eight-of-18 shooting, dishing seven assists and blocking two shots, and he played a team-high 45 minutes.

James had no choice but to produce given how poorly his star team-mate Anthony Davis played on the offensive end, finishing with just 12 points on four-of-13 shooting, and he only had seven points at the conclusion of regulation, although his 14 rebounds and five blocks were important.

Desmond Bane was the offensive focal point for the Grizzlies, scoring a game-high 36 points on 13-of-29 shooting, while Ja Morant was clearly hampered by his injured shooting hand, finishing eight-of-24 from the field for his 19 points, seven assists and three steals.

The Grizzlies will attempt to keep the series alive when the series heads back to Memphis for Game 5, now trailing 3-1.

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