2021 Playoffs: East Final | Bucks (3) vs. Hawks (5)
Hawks hold out Trae Young in Game 4 vs. Bucks due to bone bruise in right foot
The Hawks' star sustained the injury in Game 3 when he took a step backward and landed on a referee’s foot, coming down awkwardly on it.
Charles Odum | The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young did not play in the Atlanta Hawks’ 110-88 victory in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks due to an ankle injury.
An MRI on Monday revealed Young suffered a bone bruise in his right ankle. He was held out despite participating in a shootaround early Tuesday.
Young exhausted every avenue to try to find a way to return to play, sources told ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski, but a lack of mobility and significant degree of pain made it impossible.
Young suffered the injury late in the third quarter of Sunday night’s 113-102 Game 3 loss when he stepped on referee Sean Wright’s foot and turned his ankle.
Without Young, Lou Williams and a host of Hawks stepped up to fill the void and tied the series 2-2.
“A total team effort,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said.
Young has averaged 29.8 points and 9.5 assists in the postseason. He scored 48 points in Atlanta’s Game 1 win over the Bucks and had 35 points despite the injury in Game 3.
Young returned in the fourth quarter. Despite making one 3-pointer, clearly was limited by the injury. He said after the game he injury limited “my blow-by speed.”
“That’s a big part of my game,” he said.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said before the game that the Hawks have played through injuries all season, including “a game or two” without Young.
“We’ve been in this situation where we’ve had guys out,” McMillan said. “… Guys have stepped up all year long. We’ve had a lot of injuries this season. Our guys should be ready to go if called upon.”
Backup center Onyeka Oknogwu said Young was “looking good” in the shootaround. While the report was encouraging, the light practice may not have been an adequate test of Young’s ability to push off the ankle.
Williams, the veteran backup, scored 21 points with eight assists in only his second start with Atlanta this season. He played with Atlanta from 2012-14 before returning to the Hawks this season in a trade-deadline deal that sent Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Lou has been in this league for a long time,” Okongwu said. “He’s ready for the moment. He knows what he has to do alongside all of us. We know what we have to do tonight.”