BOSTON – A scorer, rebounder, 3-point shooter and … doctor too?
No, the latter isn’t one of Jayson Tatum’s many talents, but he knew enough to pop his dislocated pinky back into place in the first quarter of Boston’s 90-89 loss to Miami.
Tatum went back to the locker room for additional tests, before rejoining the team.
He wound up playing just over 28 minutes, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds with two assists and a blocked shot.
“When I fell down, I looked at it, popped it back in place and then came back to check to make sure I didn’t break it or anything like that,” said Tatum who added that it was the first time he had suffered any kind of dislocation injury.
The team taped it up before he re-entered the game.
“It was weird playing with the tape,” Tatum said. “Because my fingers couldn’t spread with it. I have to get used to it.”
When Tatum went down and headed back to the locker room, Jaylen Brown was among the Celtics players unsure of the severity of his injury.
“We just keep playing,” Brown said. “His finger dislocated; he came back, he was fine. But we always have that next-guy-up mentality.”
THE ‘OTHER’ EX-CELTIC
Kelly Olynyk got lots of praise for his play against his former team, but he wasn’t the only ex-Celtic coming back to haunt his old ball club. Jordan Mickey, who could barely get a spot on the active roster let alone play an active role in games, showed Boston just how much his game has improved since his time with the Celtics. Miami Heat injuries in the frontcourt have afforded him a chance to play some, and to his credit, he has made the most of his increased playing time. On Wednesday he had eight points and eight rebounds off the Heat bench.
“J. Mick’s minutes were very good, very impactful,” said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “He is getting better. Each game, each opportunity he’s making the most of it but he’s improving. I like what I’m seeing.”
HORFORD FOULS OUT
Wednesday’s game against Miami was about as upset as anyone has seen Al Horford in quite some time. The 10-year veteran fouled out having played just 26 minutes and 35 seconds which was the least amount of time Horford has played before fouling out of a game. When asked about the fouls that came in rapid-fire succession in the fourth quarter, Horford replied, “Hard to explain. I don’t know what to tell you.”
It was only the ninth time in his career that he fouled out of a game, with all but two of the previous eight being games in which he played at least 30-plus minutes. “I don’t remember the last time I fouled out, to be honest,” Horford said. “And never that early. I was very surprised.”
One of the defensive wrinkles Miami threw at the Celtics was a zone defense that for a few possessions, seemed to keep the Celtics from getting into a rhythm.
“It’s one of those things sometimes when you miss one, two, three, like wide-open threes, which we had, it kind of compounds itself and then you think it’s a bigger deal than it is,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Sometimes when you’re playing against it and you have a tendency to get a little tighter instead of a little freer; and I thought we got tighter as that, as it went on.”
Boston only had two players off the bench score, Marcus Smart (15 points) and Guerschon Yabusele (six points). … Marcus Morris (knee) remains out. … Daniel Theis played despite having his nose re-set on Monday. He had four rebounds in 19 minutes, 45 seconds of playing time.