Jimmy Butler drops 30 points on Giannis-less Bucks as Heat take 2-1 series lead with Game 3 win 

Jimmy Butler drops 30 points on Bucks as injured Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo watches Miami Heat take 2-1 series lead with 121-99 win

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Jimmy Butler put on a 30-point display in the Heat’s torching of the Bucks, who were without their star Giannis Antetokounmpo for a second consecutive game, to take a 2-1 lead in Miami’s first round playoff series against Milwaukee 

Butler, who trolled the Bucks on social media after the Heat won Game 1, made 12 of his 19 shots (63.1 field goal percentage), including all four of his 3-point attempts to seal a precious 121-99 win for his team on Saturday night at Kaseya Center. 

Heat guard Duncan Robinson came off the bench to add 20 points in 23 minutes for Miami. He had a +24 rating in his cameo role. Kyle Lowry also made a positive impact off the bench, putting up 15 points in 28 minutes. He had a +27 rating while on the floor for Miami.

For the Bucks, Kris Middleton scored 23 points on 8-14 shooting, converting 3 of 5 shots from behind the 3-point line. 

Milwaukee’s 31-year-old small forward is trying to hit peak form after sustaining a right knee injury in March, which many feared would rule him out of the team’s first-round playoff series. 

Miami’s Jimmy Butler torched the Bucks all night on Saturday in the Heat’s 121-99 home win

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his second playoff second game for the Bucks

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his second playoff second game for the Bucks

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.

With the win, the Heat are halfway to what would be a stunner – a No. 8 seed over a No. 1 seed, something that’s happened only five times since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format in 1984.

Those who pulled it off: Denver over Seattle 3-2 in 1994, New York over Miami 3-2 in 1999, Golden State over Dallas 4-2 in 2007, Memphis over San Antonio 4-2 in 2011 and Philadelphia over Chicago 4-2 in 2012.

Butler got hurt midway through the third quarter after trying a shot near the rim and landing on his back. He stayed in the game briefly, departed for a short stint in the locker room and returned with a large wrap on his back – with the Heat saying he would return.

He didn’t, because he didn’t have to. The game was in hand, and Miami eventually led by as many as 29.

Still, it was a somber ending for Miami, first with Butler getting banged up and then with Victor Oladipo – who has spent years dealing with injury issues – leaving late in the fourth quarter after apparently hurting his left knee. Oladipo was expected to play a bigger role for Miami in the postseason after the injury to Tyler Herro.

The first half couldn’t have gone better for Miami. Butler had 17 points in the opening quarter, the Heat had a 19-0 run at one point, they set a franchise record by making 12 3’s in a half – and it was still only 66-53 at the break.

The reason, again: Milwaukee was getting 3’s, again. The Bucks made 25 of them in their easy Game 2 win and were 10 for 18 from deep in the first half Saturday.

But the Bucks cooled after halftime, shooting only 5 for 21 from 3-point range, and the outcome was never in doubt.