Jimmy Butler scored 30 points before resting in the fourth quarter as the host Miami Heat beat the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee Bucks 121-99 on Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in its first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Reserve Duncan Robinson made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points on his 29th birthday for Miami, which led by as many as 29 and never trailed after taking control late in the first quarter.
Kyle Lowry scored 15 points off the bench for the Heat, while Max Strus added 12 points. Bam Adebayo added 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and reserve Caleb Martin chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 23 points. Jrue Holiday scored 19 points, Grayson Allen added 14 and Pat Connaughton supplied 11 along with seven rebounds off the bench.
Antetokounmpo missed his second straight game due to a lower back contusion that occurred in the Bucks’ 130-117 loss on Sunday in Game 1 of the series. The two-time MVP is listed as day-to-day.
Milwaukee claimed an early seven-point lead before Miami closed the first quarter on a 14-0 run to move ahead 29-21. Butler scored 17 points in the period while shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
Miami stretched its lead to 18 with just under 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half and held a 66-53 advantage at the break. Butler had 21 points before intermission to lead all scorers.
The Heat shot 50 percent from the field and 12 of 19 (63.2 percent) from 3-point range in the first half. Miami’s 12 made 3-pointers are the most in any half of a playoff game in franchise history.
The Heat maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter but received a scare late in the period when Butler headed to the locker room with a bruised glute. The six-time All-Star soon returned to the bench but did not play in the fourth quarter.
Miami remained in control after taking a 15-point lead into the final period. The Heat shot 53.6 percent from the field and 16 of 33 (48.5 percent) from beyond the arc for the game.
Bobby Portis had nine points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which shot 44.7 percent from the field and 15 of 39 (38.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Heat guard Victor Oladipo scored eight points before leaving with a left knee injury late in the fourth quarter.
Game 4 is Monday in Miami.
- WI vs IND, 2nd Test: India eight wickets away from a series clean sweep against West Indies
- IND vs WI 2nd Test, Day 4 Highlights: Ashwin picks two, West Indies 76/2 in 365 chase vs India at stumps
- They didn’t even try playing shots, Mhambrey on West Indies batters
- Hopman Cup: Croatia downs Switzerland to clinch title
- Jonas Vingegaard wins second successive Tour de France