Heat’s Gabe Vincent out for Game 5 with sprained ankle

Gabe Vincent, who has averaged 17.5 points per game during the Eastern Conference Finals and has been critical to the Heat’s 3-1 series lead, will miss Game 5 Thursday night due to a sprained ankle.

Vincent rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 4 but got it re-taped and re-entered the game for a little over a minute, however, by that point the contest was out of reach for Miami. Postgame, Vincent was optimistic he would play in Game 5. What changed?

This is a huge blow because Vincent is a dangerous pull-up threat in this series, plus he’s been solid defensively. Vincent has outplayed his opposite number Marcus Smart, which has been critical to the Heat’s success.

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Kyle Lowry likely will get the start and Spoelstra said he will see heavy minutes. However, look for Jimmy Butler and maybe Bam Adebayo to get time as the primary playmaker (the Heat had Adebayo doing more playmaking in Game 5 against the Bucks, which threw Brook Lopez and Milwaukee off their plan).

Boston hopes to force a critical Game 6 back in Miami on Saturday, building on the momentum of them playing by far their best ball of the series in Game 4. Whether the Celtics can sustain their success has been the story of the postseason for them.

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Heat’s Gabe Vincent out for Game 5 with sprained ankle originally appeared on NBCSports.com