PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkić available Wednesday; Rockets without Dillon Brooks

Dec 27, 2023, 1:56 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm

Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Cent...

Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on November 02, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić is available and wing Josh Okogie is listed as probable for Wednesday’s road game against the Rockets, while Houston’s Dillon Brooks is out with an oblique strain.

Nurkić missed the last two games due to personal reasons. In Friday’s and Monday’s losses, Drew Eubanks started at center in Nurkić’s place.

Before missing the last two games, Nurkić started in the first 27 games for the Suns. The Bosnian center is averaging 12.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 46.4% from the field.

“It’s a human element,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said Sunday about Nurkić’s absence. “I mean you have to treat people the right way. And when you have something like this, you just want to be there for them and help them and make them understand that basketball is secondary to life and just be supportive. We expect him back soon and in some situations, basketball is definitely secondary.”

Nurkic rejoined the team on Tuesday night, he told AZCentral.com’s Duane Rankin.

For the Rockets, Brooks will miss his first game after injuring himself in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. The defensive specialist is averaging 13.5 points per game in his first year with Houston.

The Rockets also list fellow wing Tari Eason as questionable (leg soreness).

Before returning Monday, Okogie missed the last five games because of a right hip strain. He was limited to 12 minutes in the loss against the Mavericks and was 0-for-5 from the field, including 0-for-3 for behind the arc.

Okogie was listed with ankle soreness for Wednesday.

Before leaving Phoenix’s win over the Warriors on Dec. 12 with a hip injury, Okogie started in 11 games this season.

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