Behind a spirited performance from point guard Terry Rozier and big man Al Horford, the Boston Celtics announced their entry to the Eastern Conference Semifinals by thwarting the Milwaukee Bucks ’ second-round dreams 112-96.
Rookie forward Jayson Tatum also contributed heavily to the Celtics’ cause by scoring 20 points in 39 minutes. While the scoring wasn’t a surprise, the court exposure wasn’t part of Brad Stevens’ plan prior to the game. Tatum was forced to play extended minutes out of necessity after Jaylen Brown left the game in the first half due to a strained hamstring.
Jaylen Brown limps off to the locker room pic.twitter.com/4KjBX17Jfg
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 29, 2018
According to Jay King of The Athletic, Brown suffered a grade one hamstring strain to which the Celtics swingman said he’ll undergo an MRI for come Sunday. Brown played 16 minutes, contributing only two points.
His availability for Game 1 of the East semis against the rampaging Philadelphia 76ers is still up in the air. Brown’s workload won’t get easier, though, as the Sixers will be parading Ben Simmons, who’s a handful for anyone. He got himself quite a workout against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in the first round.
Game 1 between the Sixers and Celtics is scheduled for Monday night at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. Boston will hold homecourt advantage, but the Sixers arguably have the momentum.