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GAME PREVIEW: Heat seek 2-1 series lead at home against Knicks
Can Jimmy Butler and Co. buoy Miami to another victory?
With a full three days of rest, the Miami Heat will be back in action Saturday afternoon inside Kaseya Center against the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Heat, who suffered a 111-105 loss in Game 2 Tuesday, will likely have Jimmy Butler back after he missed Game 2 with a rolled ankle. Miami attempted 49 3-pointers, converting on 17 of them, but the Knicks drained 16 of their 40 triples (after going 7-34 in G1), hauled in six offensive rebounds in the final quarter and got on the backs of Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart en route to their six-point win.
Caleb Martin led all Heat scorers with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range in addition to eight rebounds. Gabe Vincent had 21 points with five assists on 7-of-17 shooting, while Max Strus and Bam Adebayo posted 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Brunson led the Knicks with 30 points on 6-of-10 shooting from deep, while Julius Randle — who returned from an ankle injury — had 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. RJ Barrett finished with 24 points on 5-of-9 shooting from deep as well.
The Heat won both of their first-round series games against Milwaukee and were a fairly good 27-14 at home this season, though the Knicks were one of five teams leaguewide who were at least seven games above .500 on the road, finishing 24-17.
Miami’s offensive production has slightly dipped from its scorching (white) hot series against Milwaukee, albeit a smaller sample with half of their games without their best players. On the whole, it’s been the NBA’s second-most productive offense (118.2 ORTG) with the second-highest true-shooting percentage (60.8) in its seven-game playoff sample.
Can they keep it up in Game 3? Only time will tell.
Spread: Heat -4
(All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.)
Jimmy Butler (ankle) — QUESTIONABLE
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Haywood Highsmith (knee) — PROBABLE
Caleb Martin (back) — QUESTIONABLE
Victor Oladipo (patellar) — OUT
Jericho Sims (shoulder) — OUT
PROJECTED STARTING 5 (at time of publishing):
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. EST
RADIO: WQAM 560 & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)