Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters was carried off the court and into the locker room with a serious ankle injury, with 3:07 left to play in the second quarter. The Heat were still able to pull off a 123-105 win on Friday night at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before the injury, Waiters played only 12 minutes, scored six points, had three assists and two rebounds.

Not long after the injury happened, the Miami Heat twitter account confirmed that Waiters sprained his left ankle. He also had an x-ray preformed, and it came back negative.

The injury took place when Waiters drove into the lane and shot a contested floater on Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins. Waiters was fouled on the play but was not able to shoot the two free throws. By rule the Timberwolves were able to select a player to shoot the free throws, meaning that Waiters could not return to the game. Backup center Willie Reed was chosen and made one out of the two shots attempted. The next possession the Heat intentionally fouled to sub Reed out of the game.

In 41 games this season, the Heat won 11 of them. People thought they were going to tank and get a good pick in this upcoming draft. However, the team went on a 13 game winning streak and have been hot ever since. The team is now 34-35 and hold the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Dion is a major part of his team’s recent success. He is having a career year so far, averaging a career high in points (16.1), assists(4.4) and rebounds(3.4).

Wayne Ellington started the second half of the game in place of Waiters, and will most likely be the starter until Waiters is fully healthy. Erik Spoelstra will likely try to convert point guard Tyler Johnson to shooting guard in order to find more depth at the position.

The Heat will play again Sunday in Miami against the Portland Trail Blazers. Depending on the time of Waiters return, the Heat’s playoff hopes could be in jeopardy. This late in the season you can not afford to lose one of your best scorers. The Heat have had some trouble without him, as it would be unfortunate to fall below the eighth spot — in the last month of the regular season.

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