Heat's Jimmy Butler leaves Game 3 vs. Celtics with knee inflammation

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots over Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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.

More to come.

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