Heat's Butler out in 2nd half of Game 3 with knee issue

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) intercepts a pass intended for Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart, behind, during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Boston.

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) intercepts a pass intended for Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart, behind, during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


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BOSTON — Heat guard Jimmy Butler will not play in the second half of Game 3 of their Eastern Conference finals matchup with Boston because of inflammation in his right knee.

Miami made the announcement at the start of the second half. Butler also missed Game 5 of the Heat's first-round series with the Hawks because of the same injury.

Butler played 20 minutes in the first half Saturday, scoring eight points on 3 of 8 shooting. He was coming off a team-high 29-point performance in Miami's Game 2 loss.

The Heat led 62-47 at the half.

Miami began Game 3 playing at full strength after getting back starting point guard Kyle Lowry for the first time this series. He had missed eight of the previous team games with a right hamstring injury.

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