Hawks starting center Dwight Howard has been ruled out of Monday’s game against the Thunder due to back tightness.
The Hawks updated their injury report late in the afternoon and listed Howard as questionable. Howard was to warm up prior to the game before a final decision was made on his playing status. He was listed as out about an hour before tipoff.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Howard was “pretty limited” during the team’s shootaround in the morning.
“It’s been there all day,” Budenholzer said. “It’s new and hopefully it’s not anything more.”
Without Howard, the Hawks started Paul Millsap at center and surrounded him with point guard Dennis Schroder and wings Kent Bazemore, Thabo Sefolosha and Kyle Korver. It was the first start for Korver since he was replaced by Sefolosha before the game against the Thunder in Atlanta earlier this month.
Howard has missed only one game this season and that was due to a left quad contusion. He is averaging 14.2 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. Howard is fifth in the NBA with 18 double-doubles.