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Duncan Robinson’s clutch performance helps Heat extend NBA Finals

Making Michigan fans proud.

2020 NBA Finals - Game Five Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

For Michigan fans, it isn’t a surprise seeing Duncan Robinson consistently drain three pointers. And for Miami Heat fans, they’re now accustomed to seeing Robinson perform in the clutch.

With Miami’s back up against the wall vs the Los Angeles Lakers, down 3-1 in the series, Robinson made some crucial shots late in the game to keep the Heat alive. Robinson had his best scoring game of the playoffs, racking up 26 points while going 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

What made Robinson’s performance all the more impressive was he had to endure some physicality, really had to work to get open. “I thought he was just so persistent,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “and their level of physicality on him, as well, is nothing like the regular season or nothing like the first three rounds. He just dusts himself off and continues to run his routes with great force.”

From Jimmy Butler to Bam Adebayo to Tyler Herro to Robinson, the Heat are a well-rounded team from top to bottom. It takes a team, though, not any one individual player, to propel a team to a championship victory. This fact isn’t lost on Butler, realizing Robinson’s penchant for threes can win them a game in the finals. “He’s going to be a reason that we win one of these games,” Butler said earlier in the series. “He’s going to hit six, seven 3s, and I’m going to jump up and down, and I’m going to give him a big hug, maybe a slight kiss on the back of his head, because I know how important that guy is to our team.”

Robinson’s level of play is at a level where the Lakers are scheming against him, taking away some of the plays that were once successful for Robinson. Despite the challenge, Robinson showed in game 5 he can find other ways to gash the Lakers when it matters. “Coach Spo says it to me all the time: Persistence,” Robinson said. “And that’s what it’s all about for me. If you’re relentless throughout a game, you’ll get your looks. And obviously they’ve done a really good job scheming to take things away, but for me it’s just all about finding a way. Whatever it takes to get to my spots.”

The Heat will try to keep the series alive once more on Sunday night at 8pm ET and hope to force a Game 7 on Tuesday.