MIAMI — Playoff Jimmy was again taking part in. And profitable.

Jimmy Butler made his return from a sprained proper ankle a triumphant one, lifting Miami to a 105-86 second-round Recreation 3 victory over the Knicks.

The sellout crowd of 19,927 at Kaseya Middle roared when he was introduced with the starters, then Butler introduced his return in typical Playoff Jimmy type.

Butler beat an array of double-teams for a game-high 28 factors, 4 rebounds, two blocked pictures, and one outsized affect on Saturday’s recreation.

“You may’t put an analytic to it, simply the general confidence stage your crew has you could all the time get the ball to him and know we’ll get one thing environment friendly and coherent,” Erik Spoelstra mentioned.

And even after tweaking the identical ankle within the third quarter, a limping Butler gutted his means by the ache and guided the Warmth to a 2-1 collection lead.

“It jogs my memory of one other participant that I performed with for a number of years, so it’s an incredible factor to look at,” Kevin Love mentioned in an allusion to LeBron James. “He leads us, he units the tone for us each single night time.”
Butler set the tone in first five-plus minutes, with eight factors in a 17-9 run to begin the sport that electrified the Miami crowd.

Jimmy Butler, who scored a game-high 28 factors, goes up for a layup over RJ Barrett through the Knicks’ 105-86 Recreation 3 loss to the Warmth.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Put up

“It feels good,” Butler mentioned. “I used to be undoubtedly out of rhythm although, I’m not going to mislead you. I shot a variety of pictures [like] aargh. I missed a variety of pictures.”

If that was Butler out of rhythm, the Knicks gained’t need to see him in sync.

Butler had suffered the sprained ankle with 5 minutes left in Recreation 1, and missed Recreation 2.

However after initially being listed as questionable, Butler was cleared an hour earlier than tipoff Saturday.

Comply with The Put up’s protection of the Knicks vs. Warmth NBA playoff collection

“I really feel all proper. Loads of restoration and ensuring that I can transfer went into it for positive,” mentioned Butler, who even had a double-clutch dunk after the whistle. “That’s for everyone that thinks I’m not athletic. I simply select to not dunk … as a result of it takes an excessive amount of power. However I shall get again to my two-handed flushes.”

Proper out of the gate, Butler set the tone.

He scored Miami’s first basket on an 8-foot turnaround fadeaway.

He hit one other fadeaway to provide Miami a seven-point lead, and his block of RJ Barrett led to a Bam Adebayo basket and 17-8 edge with 5:52 within the first quarter.

That lead finally reached 22.

Within the third quarter, Butler slipped on the ground whereas driving and appeared to tweak that proper ankle. He remained within the recreation, albeit with a visual limp, however nonetheless stored beating the Knicks double-teams.

“Yeah. Nice participant; gonna make performs,” Tom Thibodeau mentioned. “You gotta make him work for it.”
Butler totally outplayed Barrett, holding him to 14 factors on 5 of 16 taking pictures.

“We all the time mentioned we will win video games after we defend and never make pictures, and that is a type of video games,” mentioned Butler. “It feels good to get a dub on our residence ground in entrance of our crowd, and we’re going to take that and roll with it.”