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Lowry out for Game 1, Embiid could return by Game 3 in Heat-76ers playoff series

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Lowry out for Game 1, Embiid could return by Game 3 in Heat-76ers playoff series
Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry will miss Game 1 of a playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday in Miami. Photo courtesy of the Miami Heat

MIAMI, May 2 (UPI) -- Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry will not play in Game 1 of a second-round Eastern Conference playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers, the team said. 76ers star Joel Embiid, who is also injured, could return by Game 3.

The Heat announced Lowry's game status Sunday. The team said Lowry was ruled out due to a hamstring issue. The Heat also said Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, P.J. Tucker, Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Markieff Morris are questionable. Game 1 tips off at 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday at FTX Arena in Miami.

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Lowry averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in 63 games this season as the Heat's starting point guard. He averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 assists through his first three playoff games with the franchise, which he joined in an off-season trade.

Sources told ESPN on Sunday that Embiid could return to the 76ers lineup as soon as Game 3 or Game 4 of the best-of-seven game series. Embiid will not travel with the team for Game 1 on Monday or Game 2 on Wednesday because of a right orbital fracture and concussion.

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He sustained those injuries in the 76ers' series-clinching win in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday in Toronto. Embiid played through a torn ligament in his right thumb earlier this postseason.

Embiid was set to miss a minimum of five days due to the concussion, but the orbital fracture could result in an extended absence.

The five-time All-Star led the NBA with 30.6 points per game this season. He also averaged 11.7 rebounds and a career-high 4.2 assists per game.

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Embiid averaged 26.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game through his first six appearances this postseason. 76ers coach Doc Rivers told reporters Saturday that the team will use Paul Reed, DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap and Charles Bassey to attempt to fill the void left by Embiid.

Game 3 of the Heat-76ers series is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. EDT Friday in Philadelphia. Game 4 is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT Sunday in Philadelphia. The Heat will host Game 5, if the game is necessary. The series then would move back to Philadelphia for Game 6. A potential Game 7 would be May 15 in Miami.

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