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Kyrie Irving Won't Play Wednesday vs. Hornets Because of Hip Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2019

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving brings the ball up court during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics announced Kyrie Irving will miss Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets with a left hip strain. 

The Celtics have won six of their last seven games, and they can move to within a game of the fourth-place Philadelphia 76ers with a win Wednesday night.

Irving by far has been Boston's best player this season. He's averaging 23.7 points and a career-high 6.9 assists. His .412 three-point percentage is also on pace to be his second-highest ever.

The Celtics haven't seen the improvement they expected from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in their second and third years, respectively. Gordon Hayward is also struggling to rediscover his All-Star self after recovering from his season-ending ankle injury in 2017-18.

As a result, head coach Brad Stevens has had to lean heavily on Irving at times. According to NBA.com, Boston owns a 9.3 net rating with Irving on the floor and a 0.2 net rating when he's on the bench.

Irving has missed two of the Celtics' last three games, with the team winning both. Prior to Boston's 112-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, Stevens downplayed the significance of Irving's injury. Perhaps the six-time All-Star will be ready to go for Friday's game against the New York Knicks.

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