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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving ruled out for Game 5 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Jun 13, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) grabs his leg after being injured during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks during game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving suffered an ugly-looking right ankle sprain during the team’s Game 4 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday.

At that point, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Irving would miss some time. He was seen on the hardwood in Milwaukee withering in pain after landing on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot midway through the second quarter. Almost immediately, Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the game. He was also seen leaving Fiserv Forum sporting a walking boot while using crutches.

We now have official confirmation on the status of Kyrie Irving leading up to a huge Game 5 matchup against the Bucks in Brooklyn Tuesday evening. He’s been ruled out by head coach Steve Nash.

This was always likely going to be the case. Nash noted following Sunday’s loss that Irving’s status would be analyzed separately from fellow Nets guard James Harden, who has been out since early in Game 1 with a hamstring injury.

However, this is also some rather big news for the Nets and those remaining in the NBA Playoffs. While Harden is said to be making strides in returning from the aforementioned injury, it’s not yet known whether he’ll suit up in Game 5 with the best-of-seven series tied at two.

Kyrie Irving being ruled out for Game 5 obviously means that the onus is going to be on Kevin Durant to step up if the Nets want to avoid falling into a 3-2 series hole. Durant connected on just 9-of-25 shots in Brooklyn’s Game 4 road loss to the Bucks.