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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami Heat will look to even its Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Toronto Raptors Monday night in the American Airlines Arena, but they will have to do it without Hassan Whiteside.
The Heat officially announced that Whiteside, who has been averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds during the postseason, has been ruled out for game four.
Whiteside left game three early in the second quarter and limped to the locker room, favoring his right knee. An MRI Sunday revealed that he sprained the medial collateral ligament in the knee – the same injury that has sidelined Golden State’s Stephen Curry during the Western Conference semifinals.
With Whiteside unavailable for game four – and perhaps longer – the Heat will likely use the trio of Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Amar’e Stoudemire to pick up the frontcourt slack. Haslem and McRoberts combined for 12 points and 11 rebounds during the 95-91 game three loss. Dwyane Wade, who’s strung together a run of impressive – and vintage – performances since the final two games of the Heat’s first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets, scored 38 points in game three and will need to be just as impressive without the young big man available to Miami.
What plays in Miami’s favor is that Toronto will be without starting center Jonas Valanciunas, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the series with a sprained ankle. Valanciunas was averaging 18 points and 12.7 rebounds per game against the Heat this series.