BOSTON — The Boston Celtics search for a third consecutive win Sunday night, but will have to do so without the assistance of Jayson Tatum.
Ahead of Sunday’s contest against the San Antonio Spurs at TD Garden, Tatum was ruled out due to a left hip contusion. The absence also marked Tatum’s sixth missed game this season.
Since breaking out of the league All-Star break in a relatively cold fashion, Tatum has regathered himself in the month of March. The 25-year-old has averaged 30 points and 9,7 rebounds while shooting 46.4% from the field in 11 games.
Even with Tatum sidelined alongside guard Payton Pritchard, though, the C’s should have no issue making easy work of the Spurs.
The Spurs, who entered the game as the No. 14 seed in the Western Conference, are a bottom-of-the-barrel defensive squad. They rank last in defensive rating (119.3) and 23rd in defensive rebounds per game (31.6).
Nevertheless, head coach Joe Mazzulla had a clear message before going up against yet another subpar competitor with just eight games left in the regular season.
“I don’t care if we win by three of 33,” Mazzulla said. “At the end of the day, we have to continue to play the basketball that we have been playing.”
Before the Celtics and Spurs tipped off, Boston trailed the Milwaukee Bucks by two games for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.