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Report: Damian Lillard has strained Achilles, is doubtful for Game 4 of Bucks-Pacers NBA playoff series

Report: Damian Lillard has strained Achilles, is doubtful for Game 4 of Bucks-Pacers NBA playoff series

Damian Lillard suffers an injury to his left leg during Game 3 of the Milwaukee Bucks playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Damian Lillard has suffered a strained Achilles tendon and his availability for Game 4 of the Milwaukee Bucks' first-round NBA playoff series versus the Indiana Pacers is in doubt, as reported by The Athletic's Shams Charania. The star guard is currently wearing a walking boot because of the injury.

Lillard hurt himself in Game 3 on Friday night while taking the ball to the basket in the first quarter. He landed hard on his left leg and appeared to injure his knee. Lillard was taken to the locker room for examination but returned to the game in the second quarter.

The injury appeared to affect Lillard in the second half and the Bucks had Patrick Beverley bring the ball up the court on most possessions. The eight-time All-Star scored 17 points after halftime and looked as if he might lift Milwaukee to a win. But he wore down toward the end of the game and wasn't a factor in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Following the game, Bucks coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Lillard hadn't injured his knee, but rather his Achilles.

"Significant" soreness in that Achilles has been an issue Lillard has played through in recent weeks, according to Charania.

Lillard averaged 32.3 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range in his three playoff games for Milwaukee.

Injuries already left the Bucks short-handed going into the playoffs with Giannis Antetokounmpo out due to a calf injury. Khris Middleton was also questionable for Game 3 with an ankle injury, but scored 42 points with two game-tying 3-pointers late in the contest.

Without Lillard and Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee's chances of rallying from a 2–1 series deficit appear to be in serious jeopardy. Even if the Bucks somehow prevailed in this series, how far could they be expected to advance without the two stars that made them an NBA championship contender?

Game 4 of the Bucks-Pacers series is scheduled for Sunday in Indianapolis. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET, with the broadcast televised on TNT.

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