Jimmy Butler: Heat Have to 'Put Up More of a Fight' After Game 1 Loss vs. Lakers

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 1, 2020

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard (39) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Miami Heat led 23-10 in the first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, but everything that could go wrong did after that point en route to a 116-98 defeat.

After the loss, Heat forward Jimmy Butler told reporters what Miami must do to get back in the series:

"We just gotta be tougher. We gotta put up more of a fight. I don't think that we did that. And then it doesn't help whenever we don't make shots. It's been that way all year long. Whenever we start to miss a couple shots, we don't do what we're supposed to do on the other end. So, you know, I think we should always think about letting our defense—for sure our rebounding—start it off for us, and then hopefully we start to make shots."

Miami led 23-10 with 5:38 in the first quarter, but the Lakers scored the final 13 points to take a 31-28 edge into the second.

It was all L.A. from there as the team went on a 77-32 run overall to take an 87-55 lead midway through the third quarter.

L.A. out-rebounded Miami 54-36 and made 15 three-pointers. The Lakers also went 25-of-27 from the free-throw line.

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Miami struggled from the field, shooting just 42.7 percent overall and 11-of-35 from three-point range. Jae Crowder went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and the rest of the team combined to go 7-of-28 (25 percent).

In addition, the Heat lost starting guard Goran Dragic to a plantar fascia tear of his left foot, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, although the 34-year-old has not ruled out a return to the NBA Finals as of yet.

Center Bam Adebayo left with a shoulder injury, but the Heat said that X-Rays came back negative. Butler suffered a left ankle sprain but stayed in the game.

Game 2 will take place Friday at 9 p.m. ET. ABC will televise the matchup.