TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Beasley headed home on crutches, his immediate future and Milwaukee’s playoff hopes in doubt.
Beasley sprained his left knee in a frightening scene during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. As he was trying to defend LeBron James, Beasley’s left leg buckled grotesquely and he crumpled to the floor under the basket.
Beasley, who has given Milwaukee an offensive spark this season, immediately signaled for help and had to be helped off the court by teammates Thon Maker and Greg Monroe. He also needed assistance to get to the locker room.
He’s scheduled to have tests on the knee Tuesday in Milwaukee.
“We’ll see how he is,” coach Jason Kidd said. “Hopefully it’s not bad where he can get back because he’s playing at a very high level for us. To lose him and you could see our struggles to score, we missed him tonight.”
Beasley scored 11 points before going down, and the Bucks didn’t have enough offense in a 102-95 loss to the Cavs, who packed the lane to stop All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo. He finished with just nine points on 4-of-13 shooting.
But Beasley’s injury was far more concerning for the Bucks, who entered 10th in the Eastern Conference.
“Obviously everyone was really worried,” guard Matthew Dellavedova said. “You think the worst, but he seemed in pretty good spirits when we got back here. You never want to see someone go down.”
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Beasley is in his first season with Milwaukee. He’s bounced around the league, playing twice with Miami and for Minnesota, Phoenix and Houston. But he’s been a nice addition for the Bucks, who recently lost star Jabari Parker to a season-ending knee injury.
Kidd believes Beasley should be considered for the league’s Most Improved Player award.
“He’s been asked to come off the bench, he’s been asked to start and he doesn’t complain,” Kidd said. “He goes out there every night and puts us in a position to win.”
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