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NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Fred VanVleet to wear a mouthguard for Game 5 after taking elbow to face in Game 4

Fred VanVleet
(NBA Getty Images)

After getting hit in the face by Shaun Livingston's inadvertent elbow in Game 4, Fred VanVleet lost a piece of his tooth, but he's ready to go for Game 5.

With the Toronto Raptors back on their home floor for a potential title-clinching game, VanVleet will take the court wearing a protective mouthguard.

"I hate wearing mouthpieces," VanVleet said during the off-day media availability before Game 5.

"You know, I'm a gambler, so I gambled and sometimes it comes back to bite you on the butt. But all kids out there, you should wear mouthpieces, but it was a weird play, and I took an unfortunate shot. And so now I will be wearing a mouthpiece for as long as I can manage it, and I'll probably throw it at some point during the game but I'm going to try."

He caught Livingston's elbow early in the fourth quarter, but was on the Raptors bench by the end of the game, having passed concussion protocol. Despite needing seven stitches, VanVleet is raring to go for Game 5 after a quick trip to the dentist.

"No symptoms, no concussion. You guys can leave that alone and we have great doctors and great staff. We followed the protocol and we made sure that we're in a right state of mind before we go out there."

"I got it [broken tooth] fixed yesterday. I got back home, went to the hospital, got a CT scan to make sure that no bones were broken in my face, and then went and made a visit to the dentist and went home and went to sleep."

Since the birth of his second child in the Eastern Conference Finals, VanVleet has been firing, averaging 14.1 points and three assists on 53.7% shooting from the field and 55.0% from beyond the arc in seven games.

In the four Finals games so far, he's averaged 12.8 points, three rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.2 percent from the field

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