Atlanta Hawks missing Paul Millsap, Kent Bazemore against Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta entered Friday fifth overall in the East with five teams separated by 1 + games battling for the final four berths
Tom Withers | The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — Fighting for a playoff spot, the Atlanta Hawks will be without Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore against the Cavaliers.
Millsap (swollen left knee) and Bazemore (bone bruise) have both been battling injuries and they aren’t ready to play in back-to-back games.
Millsap played his second game Wednesday night after missing eight and was on the floor for 29 minutes in a 123-116 win over Boston. Bazemore has come off the bench in four games since coming back following a five-game absence. He played 19 minutes against the Celtics.
The Hawks listed starting guards Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schroder as questionable for Friday’s game, but both will play. Schroder sprained his right foot in Thursday’s win over Boston and Hardaway has been dealing with an injured right knee and left wrist.
“They’re going to give it a go,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Cavs will again be without center Tristan Thompson, who is out with a sprained right thumb. Coach Tyronn Lue provided very few details about Thompson’s injury or when he might return. Cleveland has four games left in the regular season.
Atlanta entered Friday’s game fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. There are five teams separated by 1 + games battling for the final four berths.
Budenholzer acknowledged the timing of the injuries is difficult with so few games left and so much on the line.
“Every team is probably dealing with this to some degree and trying to figure out how to manage their players, their health, the importance of games,” he said. “Not just tonight but the three or four we have left after tonight. It’s part of the challenge of our league, for sure.”