James Harden and Kyrie Irving are trending in opposite directions with their respective injuries.
Harden has been sidelined with a sore hamstring since Game 1 of the Nets’ second-round NBA Playoffs series with the Milwaukee Bucks. Irving suffered an ankle sprain during Sunday’s Game 4 and already has been ruled out for Tuesday’s Game 5.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday reported that Brooklyn is hopeful Harden will return for Game 5, but does not expect Irving to play the remainder of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
From Wojnarowski’s column:
Harden, pushing for a chance to play, participated in the Nets’ shootaround Tuesday morning with improvement in his right hamstring, and that prompted the team to upgrade his status from doubtful to questionable for Game 5 tonight, sources said.
The Nets are tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Bucks and are preparing to be without guard Kyrie Irving (right ankle sprain) for the rest of the series, sources said. The team hasn’t ruled Irving out beyond Game 5, but Harden is clearly much closer to a return.
The Nets won the first two games of the series despite not having Harden in the lineup. The Bucks returned home and won the next two contests, evening the series.
Tip-off for Tuesday night’s Game 5 at Barclays Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.