If the Brooklyn Nets are to grab a 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night, they will have to do so without at least star guard Kyrie Irving.
ESPN's Malika Andrews reports that Irving won't play Tuesday after an MRI confirmed he's dealing with a sprained right ankle. The 29-year-old suffered the setback in the second quarter of Sunday's contest that Milwaukee won 107-96 when he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo and missed the entire second half of the matchup.
It's a brutal blow for a Brooklyn side that was already without guard James Harden, who is working to return from a right hamstring problem that he aggravated in Game 1 versus the Bucks on June 5. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Friday that the Nets were keeping Harden's latest injury "under wraps," and head coach Steve Nash told reporters Monday he did not know the guard's status for Tuesday's pivotal Game 5.
Harden would later be ruled out for Game 5 as well.
ESPN's Jay Williams said Monday he can't envision Brooklyn winning the series if both Irving and Harden miss the next two or three games.