ATLANTA – Already facing a daunting task after losing the first two games at home in the Eastern Conference final, the Atlanta Hawks were dealt another major blow Saturday when three-point specialist Kyle Korver was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs because of a severely sprained right ankle.
The guard was injured in Game 2 while scrambling for a loose ball. Cleveland's Matthew Dellavedova slammed into the side of Korver's ankle late in the third quarter of the Cavaliers' 94-82 victory Friday night.
X-rays at Philips Arena were negative, but a follow-up MRI and examination at Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high-ankle sprain. Korver will be examined by a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment, but there's no chance of him playing again this postseason, the team said.
"We will miss him," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "It's very, very difficult for him personally, but more so for how much this team has done together, how much he's been a part of that. He's a huge part of our leadership, our fabric, our fiber."
Budenholzer hasn't decided who will start Game 3 at Cleveland on Sunday night. Kent Bazemore seems the most likely candidate, but he's also the top backup for small forward DeMarre Carroll, who is dealing with a sprained left knee.
The Cavaliers might also be hamstrung at guard. Point guard Kyrie Irving worked out briefly Saturday and is questionable to play Sunday because of a sore knee.