How Mazzulla suffered eye injury that will sideline him vs. Clippers

Joe Mazzulla

The Boston Celtics will be without their head coach for the second straight game Thursday night.

Joe Mazzulla has been ruled out for Boston's matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers at TD Garden after missing Tuesday's game against the Houston Rockets due to eye irritation.

Mazzulla suffered corneal abrasions during a recent pickup game, per the Celtics. The 34-year-old head coach looked noticeably uncomfortable during his pregame interview Tuesday night and was ruled out shortly before tip-off, as assistant coach Damon Stoudamire took over as interim head coach.

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Mazzulla wasn't at Boston's shootaround Thursday morning, but veteran guard Marcus Smart -- who missed eight games due to a serious eye infection in December 2019 -- supported his boss taking all the time he needs to recover.

"As somebody who's dealt with eye problems, just take your time. Don't rush," Smart told reporters. "We pray and hope that he gets better soon."

The Celtics didn't miss a beat Tuesday with Stoudamire in the head coach role, earning a convincing 126-102 victory over the Rockets.

"He did a great job. He got his first win, so we were really excited for him, and hopefully we can come out and get a win tonight for him," Smart said of Stoudamire.


With Stoudamire calling the shots, the Celtics should be plenty motivated Thursday night against a Clippers team that handed them a 113-93 beatdown earlier this month in Los Angeles.

Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston, with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.