NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: Depleted Nets left to deal with Irving injury as Bucks level series

By Sports Desk June 13, 2021

Kyrie Irving will undergo further tests on the ankle injury he suffered in the Brooklyn Nets' defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday – a result that leaves the NBA playoff series all tied up at 2-2.

Irving twisted his right ankle after coming down on Giannis Antetokounmpo's foot after scoring from close range in the second quarter of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

The seven-time All-Star received treatment on the court before walking to the locker room. The Nets later ruled him out for the remainder of the contest, though head coach Steve Nash confirmed after the game that X-rays on the issue came back negative.

"I have no idea what is going to happen with Ky in the coming days," Nash said.

"We will cross our fingers and hope that it is better than I don't know – better than what – better than missing the next game?"

Already without James Harden, Brooklyn slipped to a 107-96 defeat on the road. They host Game 3 on Tuesday, having recorded both their wins at home at the start of the best-of-seven series.

Irving had 11 points, five rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes of action.

Kevin Durant led the way for the Nets with 28 points but was stifled by the Bucks' physical defensive play which, at times, Nash felt went a step too far.

"[Tucker's] playing extremely physical. And made it difficult. That's his role on their team," Nash said. "I thought it was borderline non-basketball physical at times. But that's the playoffs."

Harden has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury in the early stages of Game 1. It remains unclear when the former MVP will return, though there are positive signs in his recovery.

"I asked him and he says he's feeling better, doing better," Nash said. "I asked the staff, they say, 'Yeah, it's getting better'. 

"I think he's in that arena where he's got a little gap to make up. But he's getting closer, so it's been positive."

Antetokounmpo's 34-point haul helped Milwaukee make it two wins from two at home. He was helped out by 19 points from Khris Middleton, while P.J. Tucker added 13 to go along with his defensive work when tasked with slowing down Durant.

"We're very happy, but we've got to keep getting better, keep playing together and hopefully we can go into Brooklyn and take one," Antetokounmpo said.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer added: "At this stage, it's whatever it takes to win the game.

"It certainly helps to get more guys contributing, making shots. P.J. Tucker was phenomenal on both ends of the court."

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    Ariake Urban Sports Park will be the venue for the first skateboarding action in Olympic history on Sunday.

    Elsewhere, it will be the turn of the women to contest the cycling road race after Richard Carapaz produced a brilliant ride to take gold for Ecuador on Saturday.

    Stats Perform picks out of some of the standout action to look out for at the end of the opening weekend of competition.

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    The men's street will be the first skateboarding event, with four heats followed by a final at 12:25 local time.

    Nyjah Huston of the United States is the favourite to top the podium, with 16 street skateboarding medals to his name in the X Games.

    Tokyo-born Yuto Origome won gold at the World Street Championships in Rome this year and it would be a great story if he can follow that up with an Olympic triumph on home soil.

    Skateboarding great Tony Hawk said on Saturday of the sport's introduction: "I'm surprised it took this long for them to figure it out.

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    DUTCH DUO UNPRECEDENTED DOUBLE

    Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos have already won Olympic gold medals and they will go in search of a second in the women's road race.

    No female cyclist has won the event twice, but the 2012 champion Vos and defending champion Van der Breggen will start the course at Musashinonomori Park looking to achieve that feat.

    EYES ON THE POOL – AND ON THE BEACH

    The first swimming medals of the Games will be handed out on Sunday following Saturday's heats.

    There is an open field in the men's 400 metre medley final – the first event of the day – after home favourite Daiya Seto failed to qualify.

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    While China are sitting pretty already with four medals, the United States will hope not to have to wait too much longer for their first.

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    Ingles had an NBA career-best 34 points against the Washington Wizards in March, while in January he passed John Stockton to set a new Jazz record for the most three-pointers in a career with the franchise. Stockton made 845 and Ingles is now on 993.

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