Heat G Jimmy Butler set for MRI on ailing knee

Miami guard Jimmy Butler hurt his right knee on Wednesday in the Heat’s defeat against the Philadelphia 76ers, leaving his availability for the Friday play-in finale against the Chicago Bulls in doubt.

ESPN and The Athletic reported that Butler might have injured his medial collateral ligament.

Butler acknowledged after Miami’s 105-104 loss that he was headed for an MRI exam. He was injured when Philadelphia’s Kelly Oubre Jr. fell on him with 1.5 seconds to play in the first quarter.

“I fell, he landed and my knee just didn’t do well, I guess,” Butler said. “I don’t know. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.”

Butler got up from the collision and made 1 of 2 foul shots, giving him seven points on 2-of-4 shooting in the opening period. He stayed in the game but finished 5-for-18 from the floor, scoring 19 points in 40 minutes.

“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 (Thursday) and can still stick and move. Right now, I can’t say that’s the case.”

After the loss at Philadelphia, the Heat head home to oppose the Bulls — one of Butler’s former teams. The winner of the latter contest will earn the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed and a date with the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Butler, 34, averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over 60 games in the just-concluded regular season. The six-time All-Star has career averages of 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists with the Bulls (2011-12 to 2016-17), the Minnesota Timberwolves (2017-18 to 2018-19), the 76ers (2018-19) and the Heat (2019-20 to present).