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Hawks forward Saddiq Bey out for season after tearing ACL in left knee

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Saddiq Bey will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, another major blow to the injury-plagued team.

The Hawks already have been playing without two starters — top scorer Trae Young and Jalen Johnson — as well as backup center Onyeka Okongwu.

Now, they've lost another starter while mired at 29-35 and holding onto the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We've just been dropping guys and dropping guys,” guard Dejounte Murray said. “It's tough. I think injuries is what it comes down to (as far as) dictating how your season goes for a lot of teams.”

Bey left a 116-103 loss to New Orleans on Sunday night with what was initially described as a hyperextended left knee. An MRI found a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which will require season-ending surgery.

Bey slid on the floor in pain after stopping short and getting fouled with 10:41 remaining. He stayed in and made one of two free throws, then was removed and went to the locker room with a slight limp. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

For the season, his second with the Hawks, Bey appeared in 63 games with 51 starts. He averaged 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds.

The 19th overall pick in the 2020 draft from Villanova, Bey began his career with the Detroit Pistons before being traded to the Hawks last season.

The Hawks lost Young, their All-Star point guard, for at least a month after he tore a ligament in his left pinkie in a Feb. 23 loss to Toronto. Johnson has missed the last two games with a sprained right ankle.

Okongu went down before the All-Star break with a sprained left big toe. He is no longer wearing a walking boot, but it will be at least another week before he's re-evaluated.

In addition, little-used rookie guard Kobe Bufkin, the team's first-round pick, is now in a walking boot because of sprained left big toe.

“That's been the thing for us all year," Murray said. "We just been trying to get healthy and see what we can do with everybody healthy.”

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