Kyle Lowry misses practice with hamstring injury, still hopes to play for Miami Heat in Game 4
ATLANTA — Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry did not practice Saturday and is considered day-to-day with the left hamstring issue that caused him to sit out the fourth quarter of Friday’s Game 3 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Lowry, who said he underwent treatment “pretty much all night” after the injury, said he will use as much time as possible to try to improve before making a determination on his status for Game 4 on Sunday night.
“We’re going to just honestly take it hourly by hourly and go from there,” Lowry said while his teammates finished practice Saturday at State Farm Arena.
Lowry is officially listed as questionable to play in Game 4.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said a decision on Lowry will be made Sunday among the point guard, the medical staff, and the Miami coaches and front office. He did not name a potential starter if Lowry has to sit out.
“We’ll figure it out,” Spoelstra said. “The one thing about this team is we’ve had a lot of different variations of our rotation. All year long, we’ve been able to respond and win with different guys out. So it will give me some work to do this afternoon and tonight.”
Miami center Bam Adebayo stumped for third-year guard Gabe Vincent to fill in for Lowry. Vincent is averaging 7.3 points on 35% shooting, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steal per game in the series.
“Having Kyle in his ear has made him a better point guard, a better player,” Adebayo said. “I’m excited for Vincent. This is his moment, and he’ll embrace it.”
Vincent started 27 games during the regular season as the Heat juggled various injuries and averaged 11.7 points on 40.4% shooting and 4.4 assists in those starts.
Spoelstra didn’t rule out giving minutes to former All-Star Victor Oladipo if Lowry is out. Oladipo hasn’t played in the postseason but put up 40 points on 13-for-22 shooting, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in the Heat’s regular-season finale against the Orlando Magic after missing most of the past three seasons with quad and knee injuries.
“I have everybody on my mind right now,” Spoelstra said. “It will be a lot of different directions. We’ll just see. I don’t even know what the determination is right now, so we’re talking about a lot of different hypotheticals.”
Oladipo has been playing half-court 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 games on practice days to try to stay ready.
“I just stay in the moment. That’s what I was doing in Orlando,” Oladipo said. “I didn’t have no expectations after that. But if my number is called, I’m going to go out there and play my game to the best of my ability.”
If Lowry sits out, it will be his first missed playoff game since Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals when the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a sweep of his Toronto Raptors while he was sidelined with an ankle sprain.
“I don’t think it reminds me of that because that was two different injuries and that was a little bit more severe, I think,” Lowry said.
When Lowry exited Game 3 late in the third quarter, the Heat held a 13-point lead on the Hawks with a chance to go up 3-0 with the win. Atlanta, the East’s No. 8 seed, stormed back to beat the No. 1-seeded Heat 111-110 and draw within 2-1 in the series.
“I wish I was out there,” Lowry said, looking back on Game 3. “I feel like if I was out there, it would have been a different situation.”