PHOENIX, Ariz. — Welcome back Brandon Knight, take two.
For the second time in three days, the Phoenix Suns point guard will attempt to comeback from an ankle sprain that’s kept him sidelined since March 9.
His first attempt failed after a pregame on-court workout Wednesday.
“I wasn’t ready,” he said of the game against Sacramento, but following another day of practice and going through shootaround, Knight, again, sounded optimistic about suiting up Friday.
“Everything is better,” he said. “I’ll see how it feels later.”
The Suns host the Portland Trail Blazers (45-25), a team that just snapped a five-game losing streak with a come-from-behind win at Utah Wednesday.
That same night, the Suns (38-34) lost to the Kings, suffering a serious blow to their playoff chances.
“That was a tough one,” P.J. Tucker said of the 108-99 defeat that gave Sacramento the season series, 3-1, for the first time since 2010-11. “It was, especially towards the end of the year, especially with how things ended last year, a couple of games that we should’ve won and not making it. It’s one of those ones at the end that we’re going to look back whether we make it or not and say we should’ve got that one. All we can do now is continue on.”
The Suns begin the day three games back of Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Thunder are idle and play at Utah Saturday.
“It’s obviously a big game for us. They’re all big at this point,” said head coach Jeff Hornacek, talking about Portland. “They’re a good team. We got to do a lot of right things tonight. We got to be active. (LaMarcus) Aldridge and (Damian) Lillard are a handful, and if we can slow those guys down and not let the other guys beat us, we’ll have a chance.”
It should help to have Knight back, though his official status won’t be known until game-time when he warms up.
The Suns are 5-2 since he’s been out, and they really could have used Knight against the Kings when backcourt teammate Eric Bledsoe played at less than 100 percent because of illness.
Bledsoe did not practice Thursday.
“He seems pretty good,” Hornacek said. “He said he was able to eat yesterday so hopefully he’s got that energy.”