Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum left the game three minutes into the second half of Game 2 after getting poked in the eye by Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and did not return.
Tatum, who scored just nine points in 21 minutes during Boston’s 130-108 loss to the Nets, appeared to come back out of the tunnel in hopes of returning, but would not step on the floor. Of note, the Celtics faced a 27-point deficit when Tatum was injured and got down 94-61 midway through the quarter.
The Celtics announced he would not return soon after.
“He went back out on the court and tried to kind of readjust to the light out there and he was really struggling,” head coach Brad Stevens said on a postgame video conference. “He got hit, scratched pretty good. It looks pretty red, it looks pretty swollen to me. I don’t know what that means, I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is. But obviously he’s uncomfortable right now.”
Tatum had the lowest rating on the team Tuesday with a minus-28. He recorded four rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist to go with his scoring total.
Marcus Smart added: “He’s good. It’s unfortunate. Especially at this level, and any level, but right now we’re struggling and our best player goes out with an injury. It’s tough. But he’s in good spirits, we’re in good spirits. He’s going to be OK. It’s serious, but I don’t think it is as serious as most people probably thought, which is good for us, good for him. He’s in good spirits. I’m sure he’ll be playing in Game 3 and we’ll get back to it.”
The Celtics now trail the best-of-seven series 2-0. They return to Boston to host the nets at TD Garden on Friday with tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.