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Heat suffer playoff blow as Vincent ruled out

The Miami Heat will be without guard Gabe Vincent for Thursday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, the team said.

Vincent, who has averaged 17.5 points in the best-of-seven series, which Miami lead 3-1, suffered a left ankle sprain in Tuesday’s 116-99 defeat to Boston.

Vincent suffered the injury in the fourth quarter and went to the locker room for treatment before returning to the court.

The 26-year-old has been a key factor in eighth-seeded Miami’s surprise run to being one game away from their seventh appearance in the NBA Finals.

Vincent’s role has been particularly crucial since guard Tyler Herro’s hand injury which has kept him out since the first round.

Veteran Kyle Lowry, an NBA champion in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors, is likely to see increased minutes in the absence of Vincent.

The 37-year-old featured in 55 games of the regular season, averaging 11.2 points and playing an average of 31.2 minutes a game.

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