Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent, one of the breakout stars of the 2023 NBA playoffs, won’t play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Thursday.
Vincent, 26, averaged 17.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 rebounds per game in the Heat’s previous four games versus the Celtics. He initially appeared to suffer the injury in the fourth quarter of Game 4 on Tuesday but returned to the game after a brief trip to the locker room. Vincent finished with 15 points as the Celtics avoided the series sweep with a 116-99 win over the Heat.
Vincent’s rise has been a major part of the Heat’s playoff push this year, especially after guard Tyler Herro suffered a hand injury in the first round and hasn’t played since.
He averaged 13.1 points and 4.1 assists in 15 postseason games so far, including a 22-point performance in the Heat’s series-sealing win over the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, two 20-point games against the New York Knicks in the second round and a 29-point game against the Celtics in Game 2 of the conference finals.
With Herro, Vincent and fellow guard Victor Oladipo all out, the Heat’s backcourt will be extremely thin. Miami will need to lean on Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo even more to close out the Celtics and book a trip to meet the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.