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Heat’s Jimmy Butler injures knee in play-in loss, set for MRI

PHILADELPHIA — The Heat fear guard Jimmy Butler sustained a possible MCL injury to his right knee during Miami’s 105-104 play-in tournament loss to the 76ers on Wednesday night, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Butler was hurt on the final play of the first quarter in Philadelphia, when after leaking out for a potential fast-break layup, he tried to fake out Kelly Oubre Jr. to attempt to make a layup, only to have his knee buckle after it appeared Oubre landed on it, causing Butler to fall to the floor in pain.

“I fell, he landed and my knee just didn’t do well, I guess,” said Butler, who said he’ll be getting an MRI on his knee Thursday. “I don’t know. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.”

After spending an extended period of time on the ground, Butler eventually got to his feet and split the two free throws.

Butler remained in the game but scored a total of 12 points the rest of the way on 3-for-14 shooting, as Miami’s offense dried up after taking a 12-point halftime lead, allowing Philadelphia to come from behind and close out the win.

Now, the question is whether Butler will be available to play when Miami hosts Chicago on Friday night, with the winner getting the No. 8 seed.

“It felt like I couldn’t do too much, which sucks with the timing of the game and everything,” Butler said. “I hope that I’m fine. I hope that I wake up tomorrow and can still stick-and-move. Right now, I can’t say that’s the case.”

The Heat are in exactly the same situation they were in last year: playing at home to make the playoffs as an eighth seed. The winner of Friday’s matchup heads to Boston to play the Celtics on Sunday afternoon.

“We just need to get one and then we’ll worry about the next one,” Butler said.

Butler stayed in the game hoping that at some point “adrenaline would kick back in,” and he’d be able to summon the ability to take over down the stretch. Instead, he went 3-for-10 in the second half and only took two shots in the fourth quarter — including none in the final four minutes.

“It just wasn’t the case,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do anything on either side of the ball. I think I hurt us more than I helped us actually.”

The Athletic was first to report Butler’s possible MCL injury.