In the midst of another memorable run with the Miami Heat, we’re looking at the best statistical games in the NBA career of Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler is a seasoned veteran on his fourth NBA team, but it is not getting any easier to stop him.
Best known for his spells with the franchise which drafted him, the Chicago Bulls, and his current team, the Miami Heat, Butler has also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers.
Butler has led Miami to the NBA Finals twice and taken his own game to new heights in the process. He was named in the All-NBA Second Team in 2023 after being previously selected to the third team on four occasions.
And after winning the Eastern Conference finals MVP in the Heat’s dramatic 4-3 series win over the Boston Celtics, Butler had another shot at the NBA Finals, only to be denied by an inspired Denver Nuggets team.
Here’s a look at the best statistical performances of Butler’s NBA career to date.
Butler’s Most Points in a Game
Butler achieved his career high in points in an unforgettable performance against the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2023 NBA playoffs.
In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first round on April 24, 2023, eighth-seeded Miami won 119-114 at home to move 3-1 ahead of the top-seeded Bucks. They would go on to record a shock series win.
Butler was a force throughout the five games, averaging 37.2 points, but it his Game 4 display that will live long in the memory.
Butler’s 56 points were a franchise-playoff record and helped to inspire Miami to pull off a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter, ending the Bucks’ hopes of getting even in the series.
Playoff Jimmy connected with 19 of 28 attempts from the field, including three 3-pointers. He was also 15 of 18 from the foul line and had nine rebounds.
The 22 points from Butler in the first quarter made it the highest-scoring quarter of his career and he also came up big when it mattered in the fourth, adding 21 points.
At the time of his feat, only three NBA players (Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Donovan Mitchell) had ever scored more points in a postseason game.
While that total was achieved in the postseason, it is also his overall career high.
Butler’s highest tally in a regular-season game is 53 points in a 115-111 Bulls road win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 14, 2016.
He was 15-of-30 shooting, adding a massive 21 points from the free-throw line. In a fine outing, Butler also had 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The forward became the first Chicago player to record a 50-point game since Jamal Crawford in 2004 and would go on to add another 50-point game (52 points against the Charlotte Hornets) the next season in January 2017.
In total, Butler has three 50-point games in his NBA career.
Butler’s career high in an NBA Finals game is 40. While that is short of the most points by a player in the Finals, it was a standout performance.
Facing LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 Finals, which were played in the Orlando Bubble amid the coronavirus pandemic, Butler and the Heat found themselves trailing 2-0 and contending with a host of injury problems to key players.
His 40 points were part of a triple-double (13 assists, 11 rebounds) that helped the Heat to a 115-104 victory in Game 3.
James and Jerry West were the only two players before him to record a 40-point triple-double in an NBA Finals game.
Butler reached 40 points despite not attempting a 3-pointer in the game and LeBron said: “He’s one of the best competitors we have in our game. To go against a fierce competitor like that – it is something I’ll look back on when I’m done playing. I’ll miss those moments.”
Butler impressed as he averaged 26.2 points in those Finals (only LeBron fared better in the series with 29.8), but Miami ultimately lost in six games as the Lakers claimed their 17th NBA championship.
Butler’s Most Assists in a Game
Butler had 15 assists in an NBA matchup at home against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 28, 2021.
His passing helped Tyler Herro (32 points) and Duncan Robinson (26) record big games, with Butler adding 25 points in a 119-112 Heat win.
That career-best total is just ahead of his highest postseason mark, which is also his best passing tally in the NBA Finals.
In Game 2 of the Finals against the Lakers, Butler had 13 assists in a 124-114 loss. He fell just short of a triple-double with 25 points and eight boards.
He then repeated the feat, dropping dimes again in his 40-point effort with 13 assists in Game 3. Those two 13-assist games are tied for his highest assist total in the NBA playoffs.
In averaging 9.8 assists in the Finals against the Lakers, Butler had the best mark of any player on both teams over the six games in the series.
Butler’s Most Rebounds in a Game
Butler grabbed 18 rebounds in Miami’s 135-121 over the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 10, 2019.
He also had 20 points and 10 assists in a triple-double as teammates Kendrick Nunn (36 points), Robinson (34 points) and Bam Adebayo (30 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds) also had enjoyed huge statistical nights.
His most rebounds in a playoff game is 14, which came for the Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against his future Miami team in 2013. Chicago won the opener but lost that series in five games.
Butler’s top rebounding performance in the NBA Finals was 12 against the Lakers in Game 5.
Butler was the NBA steals leader in 2021 and his career-best single-game total in that category came in the same season, as he grabbed seven against the Orlando Magic in December 2020.
He had five blocks for the Bulls against the Toronto Raptors way back in December 2014, which remains his highest mark in that category.
Butler’s Highest Season Averages
Butler’s highest scoring average in a season came with the Bulls in 2016-17. In one of his six All-Star seasons, Butler averaged 23.9 points. He came close to topping that with Miami in 2022-23 (22.9 per game) when the Heat snuck into the playoffs before going on a dramatic deep run.
In the 2020-21 campaign, Butler recorded a career high in assists and rebounds per game. In what was his second year with the Heat, Butler averaged 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds.
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