Kyle Lowry hails Jimmy Butler “one of the best players I’ve played with”
After Jimmy Butler called his legendary Game 6 performance “decent”, Kyle Lowry made sure reporters knew how special it was.
Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry gushed over the performance of teammate Jimmy Butler as they avoided elimination with a 111-103 Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics, tying the series at 3-3 with Game 7 headed back to Miami.
Butler played arguably the greatest game of his career in the must-win fixture, racking up 47 points on 16-of-29 shooting, including going four-of-eight from long range and 11-of-11 from the free throw line. He added nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a block, becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1988 to have multiple games of at least 40 points and four steals in the same series.
“Butler is one of the greats”
After only producing a combined 14 points and eight assists in the three games he played this series, Lowry was superb, scoring 18 points and dishing 10 assists before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Speaking to post-game media, after Butler said he “did decent throughout the game”, Lowry made it evident what he thought of his teammate’s performance. “[Butler was] f****** incredible – my bad, don’t fine me NBA, that was really my mistake,” he said. “I just think he’s such a humble basketball player, and the work he does put in – I witness it. It’s incredible to have a guy like him next to me. I’ve played with some great players, and he’s one of the best players I’ve played with. To do it on this stage – Game 6, win or go home, do or die – I wouldn’t want to lace them up with many other people than this guy.”
He later touched on his own struggles, and how he overcame them with everything on the line. “I’m never going to make an excuse – I’ve played bad before – and I have opportunities to redeem myself,” he said. “I’ve got great guys in the locker room, great guys in my team, great organisation, great people in my life who just support me. Tonight was one of those chances – I think coach would have said it’s a ‘legacy game’ – and I think having a guy like [Butler] next to me helped that.”
Butler – as well as jokingly imploring the league to fine Lowry for swearing, highlighted a phone call he had with Heat legend Dwyane Wade in the lead-up. “D-Wade never hits me [up] until his voice is really, really needed – and it was,” he said. “I texted him and told him I appreciate him for it, just letting me know to go out there and continue to build on that legacy, and make sure we win… it just feels great to get one on the road. I think we just did our job – we’ve been saying it this entire series. It’s not finished yet, we’ve got Game 7 at the crib, and we need to win.”