CLEVELAND (AP) -Atlanta forward Joe Johnson and guard Speedy Claxton will sit out the final three games of the season because of injuries that have nagged the last-place Hawks for months.
Johnson, the club's leading scorer, missed his 19th straight game Saturday because of a bruised right calf. Coach Mike Woodson said the club decided to rest Johnson so he can recover more quickly.
Woodson doesn't know if the injury will affect Johnson's status as a member of the U.S. national team.
``I don't know if he's going to entertain that or not,'' Woodson said. ``Right now, he's our concern in terms of the calf and we want to make sure he's in perfect position as he goes through his summer regimen.''
Johnson averaged 25 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Hawks, who entered Saturday's game against Cleveland with five players injured.
Claxton, the Hawks' assists leader, missed 33 games with a sore left knee. The 29-year-old signed with Atlanta as a free agent in September after playing last season with New Orleans.
``We've got to get Speedy back on board,'' Woodson said.
The Hawks were already missing forward Josh Childress, who is out for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Atlanta doesn't have forward Zaza Pachulia (lower right leg) and guard Salim Stoudamire (sprained right ankle) either. Both are expected to miss at least one more game.
The injuries have been tough for Woodson and the Hawks (29-50), the NBA's youngest team.
``I don't know where we are as a team in terms of personnel because everyone has been banged up,'' Woodson said.
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