Nets to Play Bucks in Game 7 Without Kyrie Irving

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Nets will get one more home game to try and eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks.

However, Brooklyn will have to do so without their All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.

Irving, a native of West Orange, has been ruled out for Game 7 after spraining his right ankle midway through the second quarter of Game 4.

The injury occurred when Irving landed on the foot of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Irving, who played high school ball at St. Patrick and Montclair Kimberley Academy, has been a key part of Brooklyn’s playoff success thus far.

The Nets' guard was recently named to the 2020-21 All-NBA Third Team.

Irving recorded shooting percentage splits of 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 90% from the free throw line, becoming only the ninth player in NBA history to do so.

Irving previously made the All-NBA Second Team with Boston and All-NBA Third Team in with Cleveland.

Since Irving’s injury, Big 3 member Kevin Durant put a heroic performance of 49 points to win Game 5 and the Buck's Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 68 points to take Game 6.

The Nets have been fortunate to get James Harden back for the last two games, although it has been in a limited capacity.

Brooklyn have struggled at times to find enough offense without Irving and a less than 100% James Harden.

Irving has averaged 22.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in the playoffs this season and the Nets are 1-2 in the series against the Bucks since his injury.

However, Nets’ coach Steve Nash is still optimistic that the team can prevail despite the adversity they have faced.

“We’ve gone through so much this year,” Nash said. “This is not the way we envisioned our playoff run — losing Ky, having James be in the position he’s in, Jeff Green be in the position he’s in. We just look at this as a great opportunity. We’re still here. We’re still alive given everything that’s happened to us. We feel more a sense that we’ve done an incredible job to get here and to give ourselves a chance at home to win a Game 7.”

The good news for Brooklyn is that if they can advance past the Bucks the team should see the return of Irving during this postseason.

"I think if we're able to advance, he'll be back at some point," Nash said. "I don't know if that’s in a few days, in a week or beyond, but I think it's not a season-threatening situation."

The Nets will try to win the series when they take on the Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on TNT.