Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat beat Milwaukee Bucks for 2-1 playoff series lead

MIAMI, April 22 (UPI) -- Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 30 points in three quarters to lead the Miami Heat to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks in a brutally physical Game 3, which resulted in several injuries Saturday in Miami.

"It's a great feeling to have a player like that in the same jersey as you," Heat forward Duncan Robinson said of Butler after the 121-99 victory in the NBA playoffs at the Kaseya Center.


"He has stretches where he can just completely control and dominate a game on both ends. His impact is way beyond the box score. He set the tone in the first quarter and then we followed suit."

The Heat earned a 2-1 lead in the first-round, best-of-seven-game Eastern Conference series. Game 4 will be Monday in Miami.


Butler made 12 of 19 shots and logged five rebounds and four assists. Robinson chipped in 20 points off the bench.

The Heat outscored the Bucks 46-36 in the paint, 59-28 off the bench and led by as many as 29 points in the lopsided battle.

Butler injured his backside in the third quarter and did not return. Heat guard Victor Oladipo sustained a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

The Heat said Butler could have returned, and he is expected to play in Game 4. Oladipo will be examined Sunday to determine the extent of his injury.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who injured his back in Game 1 and did not play in Game 2, was held out of Saturday's game.

Tight defense off the tipoff and sloppy play from the Heat aided a 7-2 Bucks run to start Game 3.

The Heat answered and later took their first lead on a Butler 3-pointer with 3:04 remaining in the quarter. That shot was part of a 14-0 Heat run to end the frame. Butler scored a dozen of those points and totaled 17 over the first 12 minutes.


"Whatever the play you need him to make, he will make," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Butler.

The Heat carried a 29-21 lead into the second quarter. They continued their hot streak with an 8-2 run to start it off, pushing the lead to 14 points.

The Heat, who made 12 3-pointers in the first half, outscored the Bucks 37-32 in the second quarter for a 66-53 lead at halftime.

The Heat pushed the lead to 20 points in the third quarter, when they outscored the Bucks 28-26. They carried a 94-79 edge into the final quarter.

Butler went to the locker room near the end of the quarter after he fell hard to the floor. The Heat said he would return, but he did not.

The Heat outscored the Bucks 27-20 over the final 12 minutes. Heat forward Duncan Robinson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Oladipo injured his knee during a drive to the rim with 3:56 remaining. The Heat guard slipped and landed awkwardly. He was helped off the floor and taken to the locker room.

Oladipo scored 11 points. Fellow Heat guard Kyle Lowry scored 15 off the bench. Center Bam Adebayo and forward Caleb Martin each logged 12 points and 11 rebounds.


Bucks forward Khris Middleton scored 23 points.

Game 4 will tip off at 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday. The series will head to Milwaukee on Wednesday for Game 5.

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