Hamstring forces Heat’s Kyle Lowry out for Tuesday’s Game 5 vs. 76ers

There was no waiting game for Kyle Lowry on Tuesday morning, no Game 5 for the veteran Miami Heat point guard on Tuesday night.

Rather than hold off on a decision with Lowry’s balky left hamstring, the Heat announced at their gameday shootaround that Lowry would sit out for the third time in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Initially injured April 22 in the Heat’s Game 3 loss during the opening round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Lowry missed the final two games of that series that the Heat won 4-1, as well as the first two games of this series against the 76ers.

After the Heat won the first two games against the 76ers at FTX Arena, Lowry returned to play in the Heat’s two losses in Philadelphia, struggling with his shooting and mobility.

He reaggravated the strain in the Sunday’s Game 4 loss at Wells Fargo Center that left the series tied 2-2 going into Tuesday night’s Game 5.

Gabe Vincent started in the four playoff games Lowry initially missed, with the Heat winning all four.

Lowry, 36, is completing the first year of a three-year, $85 million contract he signed in August as part of a sign-and-trade transaction that sent Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to the Toronto Raptors.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers told reporters at his team’s morning shootaround that it was clear Lowry was compromised.

“Even if it’s not physical,” Rivers said, “it’s absolutely a mental effect. There’s no doubt about that.”

While Heat-76ers continues with Thursday’s 7 p.m. Game 6 in Philadelphia, the scheduling for the next round, the Eastern Conference finals, has a start date of either Sunday or, two days later, May 17. The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are tied 2-2 in the other Eastern Conference semifinal, with that winner facing the winner of Heat-76ers.

This story will be updated.

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