Suns’ Dario Saric suffered torn ACL in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Jul 7, 2021, 11:47 AM | Updated: 12:33 pm
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1, Dario Saric #20 and Mikal...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1, Dario Saric #20 and Mikal Bridges #25 during the NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns Arena on April 02, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Thunder 140-103. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns on Wednesday announced that center Dario Saric suffered a torn ACL in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, a win against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The injury will sideline him for the rest of the Suns’ Finals run and potentially into next season.

“It’s just one of those situations that literally breaks your heart. Dario’s a guy that I’ve been with twice — I coached him in Philly and to get a chance to be with him here, he’s what Suns basketball is about,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said.

Saric, during the first quarter on Tuesday, got ahold of a loose ball when he kicked it out to forward Jae Crowder. After making the pass, Saric immediately grabbed his right knee in pain.

The Suns big man limped up and down the court, and he was eventually subbed out. Saric went to the locker room before the team ruled him out for the game.

Phoenix held on to beat Milwaukee 118-105 to take a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals, and now it’s on head coach Monty Williams to determine how to swap his rotations.

While Frank Kaminsky played four minutes in Saric’s place as a ball-moving big man — one of Kaminsky’s best games in the regular season was a 14-point, eight-assist, eight-rebound game against the Bucks — Williams mostly went to small-ball in Game 1 of the Finals.

Wing Cam Johnson scored 10 points to go with three rebounds and strong defense in 21 minutes, while Torrey Craig contributed 16 minutes as well. He had two points and three boards.

Craig, who played 18 games for the Bucks this season before being traded to the Suns, would seemingly be a capable undersized center to defend former Milwaukee teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who at times in the second half played at center.

Game 2 is set for Thursday night at Phoenix Suns Arena, with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. on 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station.

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