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Butler doubtful for Game 2

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dribbles the ball during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

MIAMI (AFP) — Jimmy Butler is battling to be fit as Miami Heat look to take a stranglehold on the playoff series against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Butler, who rolled an ankle during Miami’s Game 1 victory over the Knicks, is listed as questionable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series, Miami confirmed.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters on Monday that Butler was undergoing intensive treatment in a bid to be fit for the game, adding that a final decision on his fitness would be left to the last minute.

“Same as last night,” Spoelstra told reporters on Monday when asked about Butler’s status.

“He’s doing treatment around the clock. We probably won’t have any update until before the game.”

Any injury absence involving Butler would be a huge blow to Miami.

Butler has been in scintillating form during the postseason, producing huge performances in the first round of the playoffs as Miami stunned the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

The Knicks, meanwhile, are also sweating on injuries to key players as they look to level the series on Tuesday.

Forward Julius Randle, who sat out game one on Sunday due to an ankle sprain, is again listed as questionable, as is Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, who is nursing right ankle soreness.

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