Jimmy Butler went Jimmy Butler on Devin Booker on Monday.
In a matchup of two preseason NBA Finals hopefuls, the Phoenix Suns found themselves with the ball and a shot to beat the Miami Heat in the game's final seconds. Butler had other ideas.
With Miami leading, 113-112, Cameron Payne missed a go-ahead layup with 13 seconds remaining. Deandre Ayton secured the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Mikal Bridges, who passed to Booker at the top of the key beyond the 3-point line. There, Booker found himself one-on-one with Butler.
He drove right then pulled up from the elbow for a 15-foot jumper. Butler stuck with him and met him at the top of his shot that he sent back toward the sideline with a clean block. Booker scrambled to recover the rebound, only to find Butler in his face again on a desperation 3-point heave.
It clanged off the rim, and the Heat closed out the one-point win at home.
JIMMY BUTLER CLUTCH BLOCK 🔒pic.twitter.com/GA9PWow7yT
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 15, 2022
Butler's a five-time member of the NBA's All-Defensive Team with a reputation as one of the toughest players in the game. Booker's an elite scorer and a practitioner of the lost art of the midrange game. This was a marquee matchup with the game on the line, and Butler got the best of it on two Booker shots in a game the Heat needed after a disappointing 6-7 start.
Booker was excellent as usual with 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. But Butler was better when it mattered most en route to a Butler-esque stat line of 16 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and that fateful block.
The Suns won't get their next shot at the Heat until Jan. 6. Here's guessing Booker will be ready and waiting for another shot to take Butler on.