For the first time since Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets can breathe a sigh of relief despite receiving expected negative news on the injury front.
Per Malika Andrews of ESPN, Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash confirmed star guard Kyrie Irving won’t play in Thursday’s Game 6 of the second-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of the sprained right ankle he suffered in Sunday’s Game 4. It’s hardly a surprise, as reports surfaced hours ahead of Tuesday’s Game 5 that the Nets won to grab a 3-2 series lead Irving may not be available again unless Brooklyn advances to the Eastern Conference Finals.
While Irving is remaining in Brooklyn for treatment, Andrews added James Harden is currently available for Thursday’s matchup. Harden had been sidelined since June 5 with a strained hamstring but logged 46 minutes in Tuesday’s massive win. He only tallied five points, eight assists and six rebounds in that contest, but Kevin Durant recorded 49 points to lead the Nets to a potential elimination game Thursday in Milwaukee.
Game 7 between the Nets and Bucks is set for Saturday night back in Brooklyn. Irving’s status for what would be a must-win showdown, if it’s necessary, may not be officially unveiled before the weekend.