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Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet out for Game 5

Apr 20, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) tries to shoot for three points as Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers looks on during game three of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fred VanVleet is out Monday night for the fifth game of the best-of-seven series between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.

VanVleet, who is dealing with a hip injury, said Monday morning he will not be able to play in Game 5 as the Raptors fight to stay alive, trailing the series 3-1.

Rookie Scottie Barnes returned for Game 4 from an injury in Game 1 and is likely to have more ball-handling responsibilities for the Raptors on Monday.

VanVleet’s left hip flexor strain creates a challenge for Toronto without a proven 3-point threat, and 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said “it just makes them more switchable” for Philadelphia’s defenders. Rivers was referencing the defensive strategy to switch on screens and only apply the “don’t switch” label to Gary Trent Jr.

VanVleet played just five minutes in Game 4, the first win of the series for the Raptors, and is averaging 13.8 points per game in the series. He averaged 20.3 points per game this season.

–Field Level Media