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NBA: Heat star Jimmy Butler questionable for Game 4; Celtics also ailing


Jimmy Butler Miami Heat

Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler #22 handles the ball during a game against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game Three of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Winslow Townson / Getty Images / AFP

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler was placed on the questionable list for game Monday of Monday’s Eastern Conference finals after missing the second half of the team’s win in Game 3.

Butler is dealing with inflammation in his right knee that has plagued him periodically throughout season after season. He also missed Game 5 of the first series against the Atlanta Hawks on April 26 due to a knee injury.

Butler had eight points before leaving Game 3 after averaging 35 points in the first two games.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra met with reporters on Sunday before receiving any update on the injury from the coaching staff.

Boston also had several key players under attack as point guard Marcus Smart (right ankle) and big man Robert Williams III (left knee) had issues and forward Jayson Tatum (neck/ shoulder) may occur.

“Marcus has a swollen ankle, a pretty bad sprain,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka told reporters Sunday. “The game is over, but he will feel it a little bit more (Sunday). Start working and treatment. See how he feels (Monday).

“Jayson is fine. It’s a nib that disappears pretty quickly. And Rob has improved. Felt better than he did (Saturday). … It is day after day. We’ll test it (Monday) and see how he feels. ”

Butler is one of six Miami players put on the suspect list. The rest are forward PJ Tucker (knee) and bodyguards Tyler Herro (groin), Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring) and Gabe Vincent (hamstring).

The Heat lead a 2-1 streak after Saturday’s 109-103 win.

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