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BOSTON — Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry will warm up “with the intention to play” in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Lowry has not played since re-injuring his left hamstring in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Lowry initially suffered the injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the Atlanta Hawks. He missed the last two games of that series and the first two of the Sixers series before trying to return.
Lowry’s potential return would provide a big emotional lift for a Heat team that comes into Game 3 tied at 1 with the Celtics — but after getting dominated by the Celtics in a 127-102 Game 2 loss in Miami. Heat players and coaches have mentioned many times how helpful Lowry’s presence has been on and off the floor — and his potential return has the attention of a strong Celtics team as well.
“Kyle brings shooting, he brings intensity when it comes to the defensive end,” Celtics forward Grant Williams said after Saturday’s shootaround. “He uses his body in great position, you don’t necessarily want to post him up, he does a great job taking charges, kind of flailing, getting the referees into the game.
“He’s a vet that you have to take out of the game because he provides a scoring push for them as well, and they play a lot more in transition when he plays. He kicks the ball ahead, he’s willing to pull up in transition threes, flying off of actions. So it gives them a different dynamic. It’s going to be fun to have him back because you want every team to be fully healthy so you can compete at the highest level, and hopefully PJ’s knee is good too so we all can kind of go out there and kind of play our best game of basketball.”
Heat guard P.J. Tucker is also expected to play in Game 3 after leaving Game 2 with a knee contusion.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report