BOSTON (AP) — The Miami Heat will start Kyle Lowry at point guard against the Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday after starter Gabe Vincent was ruled out with a sprained left ankle.
Vincent got hurt late in Miami's Game 4 loss when he landed awkwardly while trying to save a loose ball near the Heat bench. He was re-taped and returned to that game, but the effects of the sprain led to the Heat ruling Vincent out for Game 5.
Miami enters Thursday with a 3-1 series lead and a second chance to advance to the NBA Finals for a matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
Vincent started each of Miami's first 15 playoff games. He's averaged 13.1 points in the postseason, third-best on the Heat behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Lowry has been coming off the bench while Vincent starts.
Miami has played most of the playoffs without two other guards, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo. Herro has been cleared to resume some basketball activities after recovering from a broken hand but is still at least several days away from playing. Oladipo will miss the rest of the season with a torn patellar tendon.