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Mitchell native Mike Miller not expected to play in Game 4 Sunday

Mitchell native Mike Miller did not play in the Miami Heat's Game 3 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday in Philadelphia. The Heat won the game 100-94 to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Playoffs first-round series.

According to Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman, coach Erik Spoelstra is not likely to use Miller in Sunday's Game 4, either.

Winderman, who covers the Heat for the South Florida SunSentinel, told The Daily Republic in an e-mail Friday that Spoelstra holding Miller out of Thursday's game was not by design, but rather a product of the Heat's early-game struggles. Miami, the No. 2 seed in the East, trailed by eight points after the first quarter.

Miller has been dealing with a left thumb injury that is likely to require offseason surgery, Winderman said. The thumb has been taped and braced for games.

Spoelstra did tell Winderman that, if the Heat move on to the second round to face the winner of the New York Knicks versus Boston Celtics series, Miller will be relied upon.

Through three games this postseason, Miller has been on the floor for a total of six minutes.

Miller played three minutes and went 0-for-3 from the field with one rebound in Miami's 97-89 Game 1 win. He played three minutes and did not attempt a shot in Miami's 94-73 Game 2 victory.

Throughout the regular season, Miller battled various injuries to his thumb, shoulder, knee and ankle. The 6-foot-8, 31-year-old shooting guard averaged a career-low 5.6 points and played a career-low 20.4 minutes per game. He averaged 4.5 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from the floor and 36 percent from 3-point range.

Game 4 of Miami's series against Philadelphia is scheduled for noon Sunday in Philadelphia. The game will be shown on ABC.