The Boston Celtics will need to find a way to keep Jimmy Buttler quiet on Friday (10.30am AEST) as they look to bounce back from an Game 1 loss in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami.
Butler, who had been held to 14 points in the first half, caught fire in the second and finished with 41 points, making 12-19 shots from the floor. He also had nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in an incredible display.
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MATCH CENTRE: Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics, Game 2
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The Celtics were undermanned but are set to welcome back Al Horford and Marcus Smart for Game 2 Miami in a timely boost.
Center Horford is available after clearing Covid protocols, the Celtics said hours before the game.
Horford abruptly entered the league’s health and safety protocols shortly before the Celtics Game 1 loss.
He was upgraded to doubtful for game two on Wednesday before progressing from “questionable” to “available” on game day.
The Celtics also hoped to have Defensive Player of the Year Smart back after he missed game one with a foot sprain suffered in the series-clinching win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Thursday morning Smart was “better” but still would have to test his foot pre-game.
“He’s probable,” Udoka said. “He looked better in shootaround (Thursday) and overall we expect him to play.”
Derrick White, who started game one in place of Smart, will miss the game for personal reasons — to be with his wife for the birth of their baby.
“It came sooner than expected,” Udoka said. “But we support our guys always in that situation. He had to rush home today.”
Tip-off is at 10.30am (AEST).