MIAMI — Despite a 121-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 on Saturday night, the mood in the Miami Heat‘s locker room after the game was subdued while the team awaited test results from a knee injury to guard Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo was helped off the court during the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference first-round series game after collapsing to the floor following a drive to the basket. Oladipo yelled an expletive and immediately began clutching his left knee on the ground after the incident.
A stretcher was brought out to the floor to assist him to the locker room, but Oladipo waved it off. He is scheduled to undergo further testing on Sunday morning.
“It was a great win, but when you see a player go down like that and particularly a player like Vic, who has gone through so much in the last three years — I don’t know what it is right now, so I don’t want to jump the gun on anything,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But that’s definitely not a good feeling to see.”
Oladipo, who turns 31 next month, has already endured a major knee injury in his career — a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee in January 2019 that required a second surgery in May 2021. He did not play in his first game until March 7, 2022, following that injury.
“We’ll just have to see,” Spoelstra said. “I feel like throwing up right now, but I don’t know what the prognosis is. I want to stay positive on this, and we’ll just see what happens.”
The Heat, who lead the series 2-1, also announced that forward Jimmy Butler has a bruised glute.
Butler scored 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting in 28 minutes Saturday before taking a hard fall to the floor in the third quarter. He checked out of the game with 3 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter to head to the locker room and returned to the bench with a heat wrap and ice wrapped around his body.
Spoelstra said Butler could have returned to the game, but with Miami ahead comfortably in the fourth quarter, the score never dictated it.
“He went back to the locker room and said, ‘Hey, just give me a couple minutes, I’ll be ready to go,'” Spoelstra said. “I was going to insert him back into the game if it broke 15, but the second unit all night long gave us a tremendous boost.”
Heat’s Oladipo exits with left knee injury; team awaiting tests