Sunday, May 7, 2023

Grant Williams receives stitches after being stepped on by Joel Embiid in Game 3

Grant Williams has a swollen nose after being stepped on by Joel Embiid in the Celtics 114-102 win Friday night.

The C's forward is still feeling the effects less than a day removed from being stomped via the league MVP's foot on the back of his head -- which required "three or four" stitches in his mouth after his face smashed off the floor in Game 3.

Williams briefly departed the game to get attended to by trainers, only to return immediately to his surprise that the injury wasn't a lot worse than what it appeared to be.
"I was happy," Williams said Saturday during his post-practice presser on the injury not being much worse. "It was one of those things where at first, you see my reaction, and I kind of went through all of the phases.
"I grabbed my face and I grabbed my nose to see if it's OK. I was feeling that it didn't hurt so I like, 'OK, my nose isn't broken.' I went to my mouth and I was bleeding a little bit. I looked at it and was like, 'That's not that much blood.' But when I stood up, the blood started leaking."
The veteran was eager to return after feeling fine and continue playing once he went to the Celtics bench.
"I was ready to go back in," Williams said.
Following his rookie season, Williams stopped using a mouth piece, something the forward now somewhat regrets over the past three years -- especially after Friday's incident and having the 76ers team dentist do some work on his teeth.
"I thought it would be a smart decision to throw a mouthpiece in there," Williams said. "My parents have been getting on me for the past three years for not wearing a mouthpiece. Let's just say last night didn't help."
Williams was asked immediately after Game 3 about if saw the replay of the stomp, to which he reacted as most did who watched the play live.
"I was like, 'Dang, I really got curb stomped,'" Williams said during his postgame comments. "It happens. He was falling backwards. I'm just thankful he didn't like fully just lean his weight onto it because he definitely got me pretty badly. But then I think he felt that he landed on something, so he picked his foot up. It hurts a little bit."
Despite not scoring in Game 3, Williams played a pivotal role in being one of the few players for Boston to slow Embiid down, while coming up with four rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off the bench.

All-Star Jaylen Brown, who had a front row seat to Williams' injury when it occurred, gave praises to his teammate as one who helped the Celtics take a 2-1 Eastern Conference semifinals series lead.
"Grant has been humble all year long," Brown said to reporters Friday night. "It's been tough for him. He's a tremendous part of our team. We've challenged him in different ways. His maturity level, the ability to play his role, the ability to raise his level and get stops and do what’s needed to get done regardless of his emotions and how he feels about certain situations is like -- man, you can't ask for nothing better than that
 "Grant is a true professional. To not maybe play a lot last series and now to play more this series and accept that challenge put his life on the line for it -- you see his head smash into the court and back up with a smile with his face -- that's Grant Williams."
The Celtics will look to grab a commanding 3-1 lead over the Sixers when they face off in Game 4 Sunday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. ESPN has the tip-off at 3:30 ET. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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