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Suns PG Ricky Rubio not expected to play vs. Trae Young, Hawks

Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio (11) drives against Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph during the second half in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Phoenix. The Kings won 114-103. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio is not expected to play Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks as he awaits the birth of his child.

Rubio was listed as questionable for personal reasons heading into game day, but head coach Monty Williams told reporters that Elie Okobo will start instead. Williams was hopeful Rubio could return Thursday for a game against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

“You’re hoping, but personal family stuff is more important than (for him to) jump on a plane, all the stuff we would like to happen,” Williams said.

Okobo is averaging 4.9 points and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 44% from the floor and 40% from three-point range. The second-year pro will not only be charged with replacing the 13.2 points and 9.3 assists per game averaged by Rubio but with covering Atlanta point guard Trae Young.

Young (hamstring) is probable to play Tuesday but went through shootaround. The second-year pro is the NBA’s fourth-leading scorer (28.9 points per game) and fourth-best assist man (8.4).

Atlanta (8-32) is not only young but injury-riddled with former Suns first-round pick Alex Len (back pain), forward Jabari Parker (shoulder impingement) and backup big man Bruno Fernando (personal reasons) all ruled out.

Hawks rookie De’Andre Hunter (finger sprain) is also available to play, Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce told reporters at shootaround.


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