Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Jayson Tatum ruled out against Kings, gives update on ankle injury

The Celtics will be without their leading scorer Jayson Tatum Wednesday when they face the Sacramento Kings on a second night of a back-to-back.

The All-Star forward was ruled out after suffering a left ankle sprain in the team's 132-126 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors Tuesday.

Tatum rolled his ankle in the opening minutes of the first quarter and immediately hobbled to the locker room, before returning to the bench and checking back in to start the second period.
"It's swollen, Tatum said during postgame comments when asked about his ankle. "I stepped on somebody's foot and rolled it. I went to the back to get it looked at."
While he did log in 41 minutes of action, Tatum only shot 5-of-17 from the field (2-of-9 from deep) to finish with 15 points, to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

Tatum's poor offensive showing also included a contested three-point heave with the game tied in the final seconds of regulation that hit the front of the rim before going to OT.
"Not to make any excuses, but when you sprain your ankle, it kind of swells up and is just stiff," Tatum explained. "It just makes it a little tougher to move. I still was out there. So, I feel like if you go out there and play, you can't make any excuses."
The rest of Tatum's teammates also struggled offensively outside of Derrick White and Jaylen Brown, especially from 3-point range -- as the Celtics connected on only 17-of-58 (29.3%) from behind the arc and shot 41.2% overall from the field.

Boston has a chance to bounce back against the 16-9 Kings (10:00 pm et tip-off) in the second of a four-game west coast road trip without Tatum, Al Horford (rest) and Luke Kornet (groin). 

However, Kristaps Porzingis is set to return to the lineup after sitting out against the Warriors to nurse a calf injury he sustained in late November that forced him to miss four games prior to Tuesday's matchup.

Tatum will also gets two extra days of rest, as the Celtics head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday and the Lakers Christmas Day to wrap up their western swing. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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