EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Celtics, Nets to be shorthanded against Phoenix Suns

Apr 22, 2021, 1:20 PM | Updated: 1:36 pm

The Phoenix Suns celebrate during a time out during the second half of an NBA basketball game again...

The Phoenix Suns celebrate during a time out during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns have benefitted from some shorthanded squads this season and that’ll continue on their East Coast road trip, the toughest stretch of the season.

On Wednesday the Suns dropped the Philadelphia 76ers as the hosts were without Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and Seth Curry.

All three players were questionable heading into the game.

Thursday’s opponent, the Boston Celtics, will not feature Robert Williams and Evan Fournier, with Jaylen Brown doubtful.

The Suns won the first meeting back in early February, a game the All-Star Brown also missed. The new Celtic Fournier had a great 21-point outing in Phoenix’s loss to the Orlando Magic on March 24.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s matchup, MVP candidate James Harden is out indefinitely for the Brooklyn Nets after re-aggravating his hamstring.

As for Kevin Durant, after missing nearly two months for a hamstring issue, he returned for only five games before exiting a game Sunday with a thigh contusion and hasn’t played since. Head coach Steve Nash said Tuesday that Durant’s scans confirmed it is a day-to-day issue.

Durant did not play Wednesday but Nash expressed optimism on Wednesday that he could play on Friday or Sunday.

Phoenix lost its only other meeting with Brooklyn back on Feb. 16, with Durant and Kyrie Irving out, while Harden scored 38 points.

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