Heat's Jimmy Butler on missed 3-pointer vs Wizards: 'I'm never going for the tie'

Jimmy Butler had a chance to go for the win or tie the game. You already know what he chose to do.

Mar 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) smiles against the
Mar 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) smiles against the / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

As the ball ricocheted off the rim and into Jimmy Butler’s hands in the final seconds of Sunday’s shocking loss to the Washington Wizards, the Miami Heat star was forced to make a quick decision. 

Butler, who gathered the long rebound off Duncan Robinson’s miss, could rise for a 3-pointer for the win or go for two to tie the game. Butler’s jumper missed off the back iron and the Heat lost to the Wizards, 110-108, but Butler doesn’t regret his decision.

“I’m never going for the tie. Ever," Butler said postgame.

Jimmy Butler had a chance to win the game with a 3-pointer at the end of the Miami Heat's stunning loss to the Washington Wizards Sunday. Even though he missed, he said he'd make the same decision again.

The result is perhaps Miami’s worst loss of the season. The Heat (35-29) have now dropped three straight, including Sunday’s defeat to a Wizards team that had only 10 wins before earning a stunning 11th.

Butler finished with 23 points on 9 for 20 shooting, four assists and three rebounds and the Heat had six players score in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with Washinton’s Kyle Kuzma (game-high 32 points) and Corey Kisper (22 points).

"This game is just very humbling,” Butler said. “If you don't come out with the right mindset, this is what will happen, this is what will continue to happen.”

Going for the win isn’t new for Butler. Despite generally shooting very few 3s compared to his superstar counterparts Butler, when faced with the decision to go for a go-ahead 3-pointer or tie the game with a 2, has almost always chosen to shoot for the lead.

Some have been in high-profile moments, like in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, when Butler pulled up for a 3-pointer in the final 16 seconds instead of attacking Al Horford off the dribble for a potential game-tying layup. Each time, Butler stood by his decision.

Chances are that the next time Butler can choose to go for the win or the tie, he’s making the decision that will end the game.