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Hawks' DeMarre Carroll starts Game 2 vs. Cavs despite knee sprain

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Relieved about Carroll

Hawks forward Al Horford says he is relieved over the news about teammate DeMarre Carroll's injury status.

ATLANTA -- Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll was a surprise starter in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

The Hawks waited until seeing Carroll test his sprained left knee before finalizing their starting lineup less than 30 minutes before the game.

Carroll participated in a shootaround that was closed to media earlier Friday. He then took shots and drove to the basket on the team's practice court about an hour before the game. He labored through many of the noncontact drills, grimacing quite a bit on lateral movements.

Before that warm-up session, the Hawks had listed Carroll and Kent Bazemore together in the small forward spot as the team waited to declare a starter.

Carroll was injured on a drive to the basket in the Hawks' Game 1 loss. He looked seriously injured, unable to put weight on the leg, when helped off the court.

The fear was Carroll had suffered a significant injury that could end his postseason.

However, an MRI showed no structural damage. Carroll was diagnosed with a sprain and bone bruise.

The loss of Carroll could have been devastating to the Hawks' hopes of beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

At 6-foot-7, Carroll provides the size needed for the difficult matchup against James, who led the Cavaliers with 31 points in Wednesday night's game.

ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.