The Celtics need to pick it up after a tough loss in Game 3 against Miami if they want to move forward in their Eastern Conference finals matchup. The Heat was able to beat back a late-game charge by Boston to preserve a victory and take a 2-1 series lead.
With Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart suffering injuries of late, the Celtics went from a chance to take control of the series to now trying to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time in two months.
Smart has a right ankle sprain and is listed as questionable, while Tatum is listed as probable due to a shoulder injury. Robert Williams III is also listed as questionable after he sat out Game 3 with swelling in his surgically repaired left knee. Game 4 is back in Boston at 8:30 p.m. Monday.
As expected, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said the trainer’s table was busy on Saturday.
“Marcus has some swelling in his ankle. Took a pretty bad sprain. Finished the game, but he’s gonna feel it a little more today,” Udoka said. “Getting worked on and getting treatment. See how he feels tomorrow. Jayson is fine. It’s a stinger that went away pretty quickly. And the Rob has improved. Feels better than he did yesterday. … It’s day to day. We’ll test it out tomorrow and see how he feels.”
All eyes will once again be on Tatum, who fell flat in Game 3, only putting up 10 points.
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Udoka says the C’s need to “up” the physicality tonight and stop the turnovers, which lead to much fewer shot attempts and less points on the board in Game 3.
Point guard Payton Pritchard said the team needs to clean it up.
"You know ,I think it’s just being smart when we’re driving, play on two feet, they had like 19 steals so it was a lot of live ball turnovers so, we can just limit those and I think we’ll be alright.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.