Lowry’s hamstring rules him out of Game 5 of the Heat-76ers

MIAMI – Kyle Lowry’s strained left hamstring sent him back to the bench.

Lowry’s leg problem forced the Miami Heat to rule out their starting point keeper for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

He missed four games earlier in the postseason with the hamstring problem and then made it worse in Miami’s Game 4 loss on Sunday. Lowry continued to play much of that game, limping intermittently and finishing 3-10 off the floor, 0-6 on 3-pointers in Miami’s 116-108 loss.

“I know how competitive Kyle is and how badly he wants to be out there, especially at this point in his career,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday. “That’s what he’s playing for in these moments. … I feel for him.”

The Heat and 76ers are tied 2-2 going into Tuesday’s fifth game of the series. Lowry was with the Heat on Tuesday morning for her matchday shootaround practice – “as active as anyone,” Spoelstra said – and will be listed as daily going forward.


Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia. If necessary, Game 7 would be in Miami on Sunday, which is also the first possible start date for the Eastern Conference Finals.

Lowry received treatment on Monday and was hoping to get on the pitch for Game 5. It wasn’t long before the Heat realized this wasn’t going to be possible.

“Let me put it this way: you don’t want to play with it,” Lowry said after Game 4 on Sunday night.

Lowry went 3-for-14 in the two games in Philadelphia and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. He was originally injured in Game 3 of the first-round series against Atlanta.

“Oh, I’m sure it affects him,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday. “I don’t know how much, but I can’t imagine having an Achilles tendon and playing with it in the playoffs. It must – even if it is not physical – it absolutely must have a mental effect, there is no doubt about that.

Miami goes Tuesday with a 16-7 record in games Lowry missed this season.


“I know how badly he wants to be out there,” said heat guard Tyler Herro, adding that Lowry’s leadership will be missed. “He’s obviously not out there, so we need another voice on the pitch that can help us get into our spots.”

Lowry played that role — the “other voice” Herro spoke of — in Games 1 and 2 from the bench, and Spoelstra expects the same during this absence.

“He’s so perceptive,” Spoelstra said. “He sees things in front of most people – that would be players or staff alike. And he just has a brilliant way of communicating and building trust.”


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Nate Jones

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