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Celtics take 3-1 series lead but lose Kristaps Porzingis



Celtics take 3-1 series lead but lose Kristaps Porzingis

MIAMI — The Boston Celtics took another step towards eliminating the rival Miami Warmth with a convincing 102-88 Recreation 4 victory Monday to take a commanding 3-1 collection lead.

However the win may need include a price, as Kristaps Porzingis, the workforce’s beginning heart, hobbled off the court docket with a calf harm simply earlier than halftime and did not return. Porzingis will endure imaging Tuesday, however early indications are that he did not maintain an Achilles tendon harm, sources instructed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Following the sport, Porzingis slowly walked out of the visiting locker room space carrying a grey strolling boot on his proper foot.

Porzingis appeared to tweak one thing after catching a go from Jaylen Brown late within the second interval. Upon getting the ball, Porzingis began driving towards his left, then grimaced earlier than rapidly giving the ball again to Brown and arising lame in the midst of the play. Porzingis did not seem like touched by anybody on the play throughout which he was harm.

As he walked to the locker room with a help staffer, Porzingis briefly held his jersey over his face in obvious frustration.

Minutes after he sustained the harm, the Celtics issued an replace, saying Porzingis was affected by proper calf tightness. Following the sport, Porzingis posted on social media, making be aware of the workforce’s victory and including, “Thanks for all of the help, can be good” with a biceps emoji on the finish of the message.

Celtics gamers held out hope that Porzingis’ harm wasn’t severe but additionally acknowledged that his presence as a ground spacer and rim-protector meant issues would change if he’s pressured to overlook time.

“All of us, our mindset has to shift,” mentioned veteran heart Al Horford, who began the second half in Porzingis’ place. “I talked to Luke [Kornet] and Xavier [Tillman], and allow them to know that every one of us must be able to step up and do some extra, as a result of KP was enjoying so nicely defensively.”

Stated Jayson Tatum: “We’ll must play totally different, nevertheless it’s a next-man-up mentality for nevertheless lengthy [he’s out]. Clearly I do not know something [yet] — nevertheless it’s subsequent man up. We simply must discover a option to win every recreation.”

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, who joined the Celtics final offseason by way of commerce with the Washington Wizards, match his new workforce nearly completely, averaging 20 factors and 7 rebounds per contest on career-best effectivity whereas giving Boston an much more harmful five-out offense. However the Celtics, who went 21-4 within the common season when Porzingis was out, appeared simply tremendous Monday in his absence.

A lot of that stemmed from the Warmth having no reply for Derrick White. The guard caught hearth from deep within the first half, through which he shot 6-for-9 from 3, and went on to complete with a career-high 38 factors.

“It is unreal. You hit a pair, after which after some time, you are feeling like you’ll be able to’t miss — the basket’s simply big,” mentioned the 6-4 White, who additionally managed to throw down a pair of uncharacteristic dunks. White’s scoring outburst made for an excellent steeper climb for the short-handed, scoring-challenged Warmth, who have not been in a position to replicate their scorching taking pictures from Recreation 2, once they hit a franchise playoff-record 23 triples.

Together with Monday’s 9-for-33 efficiency from deep, Miami has shot simply 29.5% (18-for-61) since then. Video games 3 and 4 marked the primary time since 2022 that Miami has been held underneath 90 factors in back-to-back contests, be it common season or the playoffs. The Celtics had been the opponent final time it occurred, too, again within the 2022 Jap Convention finals.

Boston will search to shut out the best-of-seven collection when it hosts Recreation 5 Wednesday night time.

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