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Celtics center Robert Williams out for Game 4 with left knee soreness

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Two

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03: Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics looks on before Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on May 03, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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The Boston Celtics are going to need everyone to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo after his 42-point outburst in Game 3, but now one of their key defenders is unexpectedly out for Game 4.

Center Robert Williams will miss the game with knee soreness, the team announced.

That is the same knee where Williams had a torn meniscus that required surgery, which caused him to miss part of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs. Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka said Williams’ knee soreness “came out of nowhere.”

Grant Williams and Al Horford remain the front-line Boston defenders on Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Celtics often brought help with Williams. Now that duty falls to Daniel Theis, who struggled to defend the Greek Freek in the minutes earlier this series when Williams was elbowed in the head and had to come out for a stretch.

The bottom line is that Antetokounmpo has looked more and more comfortable against the Celtics’ defense with each passing game, and they need to make him uncomfortable in Game 4. That is tougher to do without Robert Williams.

If Antetokounmpo has a big game and the Bucks win to go up 3-1 in this series, it becomes nearly impossible to see how the Celtics win three straight to come back and advance.