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Sports News of Thursday, 28 April 2022

Source: punchng.com

Vincent, Oladipo lead Heat to play-offs second round

Gabe Vincent Gabe Vincent

D’Tigers captain Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo put up impressive performances as they led the Miami Heat to the second round of the NBA play-offs on Wednesday, after a 97-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks to qualify 4-1 on aggregate in the seven-game series.

Vincent and Oladipo were in the starting five, with Oladipo making his first start of the postseason after injuries to star point guard Kyle Lowry and forward Jimmy Butler.

Oladipo led the Heat in scoring with 23 points, three assists, three steals and one rebound in 36 minutes. Bam Adebayo added 20 points, 14 rebounds, while Vincent scored nine points, four assists and four rebounds in the encounter.

Vincent had the joint highest number of assists (four) along with Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

Aside from his offensive output, Vincent was also in charge of the defensive duties and was a thorn in the flesh of Hawks star guard Trae Young, who applauded his defensive skills in the five-game series.

“He’s (Vincent) just a smart player,” Young said when asked how Vincent defended against him in the series.

It is however a refreshing series for Oladipo who was out injured for a long period after going into surgery in 2021 to repair his ruptured quad tendon.

The 29-year-old two-time All-Star player says he is grateful to be back on the court, adding that he has the ability to surpass his previous performances while with the Indiana Pacers.

“I’m still improving. I haven’t played enough basketball to be super comfortable yet but I’m getting there,” Oladipo said after the win.

“I have no doubt I can surpass that level I was at. Even better days than that to come. This is part of the journey of getting there.”