Butler played 20 minutes, scoring just eight points with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win as the Heat parried the Celtics’ late-half push.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra talks about Butler.
“He can manage this. I think the next two days will be really important, obviously.
“At half-time, the coaches make the call. Just feels like we’ve been in this situation a lot with a few of our own. We almost had to restrain them.
“We get it, and we love it about them, the way they’re connected. But we also don’t want to be irresponsible.”
Bam Adebayo stepped in Butler’s absence to score 31 points with 10 rebounds, while PJ Tucker and Max Strus added 17 and 16, respectively.
“Six turns, and no goals in the second half is unacceptable,” Tatum said.
“Honestly, I have to play better. I feel like I let the boys hang tonight. It’s on me. ”
The result means the Heat have a 2-1 series lead, but Butler’s readiness will be crucial in moving forward, along with Tyler Herro who received a quad problem.
“Adversity happens on both sides, constantly, and the competition is so fierce that it creates that adversity,” says Spoelstra.
“We just had the honed, gutted guys. This is all what the knockouts are. ”