How Dwyane Wade inspired Jimmy Butler’s Herculean effort vs. Celtics

·2 min read

How Dwyane Wade inspired Jimmy Butler’s Herculean effort vs. Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Nineteen points on 7-for-32 shooting.

Those were Jimmy Butler’s combined scoring numbers in Games 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference finals as the Miami Heat saw a 2-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics turn into a 3-2 deficit.

But, with Miami on the brink of elimination in Boston, Butler bounced back on Friday — and in a major way.

Butler, who has been dealing with a knee issue since exiting Game 3, logged nearly 46 minutes and posted 47 points on 16-for-29 shooting, nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals, one block and just one turnover in a remarkable season-saving effort at TD Garden.

The six-time All-Star came through in the clutch as well, scoring 12 points in the final eight minutes of regulation to help close out a 111-103 win and force a Game 7.

So, after two down performances, how was Butler able to pull off that with a banged-up knee in a must-win situation on the road?

"Honestly, I got a phone call and text message from [Dwyane Wade] earlier today and he was telling me that I can do this," Butler told ESPN's Lisa Salters. "'Knee is a little banged up, but nobody cares. Go out there, continue to build your legacy.' And that meant the world to me. So I appreciate you, D-Wade."

Butler actually broke Dwyane Wade’s Heat playoff record for points scored while facing elimination of 46, which D-Wade put up against the Celtics in the 2010 first round (h/t CBS Sports' Jake Winderman). And Butler’s 47 points were second-most overall in franchise playoff history, just trailing LeBron James’ 49 against the Brooklyn Nets in the 2014 second round.

Celtics fans will be hoping D-Wade doesn't deliver another motivational message to Butler ahead of Sunday night’s series-deciding Game 7 in Miami.