Despite losing Game 3 on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets had to feel good heading into Game 4 on Sunday.
Brooklyn found itself up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals series and could have taken a dominating 3-1 series lead with a win against the Bucks.
At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, Irving went down with an ugly-looking ankle injury midway through the second quarter with the Nets down by four. The injury happened after Irving landed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot. Irving was down in a tremendous amount of pain before limping to the locker room. Almost immediately, Brooklyn ruled him out for the remainder of the game with a right ankle sprain.
While X-rays on the injury were negative, Irving will undergo further testing. At the very least, his availability for Game 5 on Tuesday is in question. Remember, this comes after fellow Nets star James Harden aggravated his hamstring injury early in Game 1. He has yet to play since.
The end result Sunday was a 107-96 Bucks win to even the best-of-seven series. Kevin Durant led all Brooklyn players in scoring with 28 points. However, the two-time NBA Finals MVP connected on just nine of his 25 shot attempts. Below, we look at how the Irving injury dramatically changes the landscape of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.