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Jimmy Butler goes on personal leave, misses Heat's game against Celtics

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) chases a loose ball along with Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MIAMI (AP) — Heat star forward Jimmy Butler missed Miami’s game against the Boston Celtics on Sunday because of personal reasons.

The club has granted Butler a leave of absence after the death of a family member. It has not been determined how long Butler will be away from the team, which has games at Milwaukee and Philadelphia this week before the All-Star break.

“Jimmy and his family ask for privacy at this point in time as they navigate this loss,” said a statement released by the Heat from his agent, Bernie Lee.

Injuries have limited the 34-year-old Butler, who leads the Heat in scoring at 21 points per game, to 37 games this season.

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