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Kristaps Porzingis ruled out for Game 3 of NBA Finals

Boston doctor says Kristaps Porzingis’ injury is similar to Curt Schilling’s
Boston doctor says Kristaps Porzingis’ injury is similar to Curt Schilling’s 00:49

BOSTON -- The Celtics will not have Kristaps Porzingis for Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Mavericks in Dallas. The team announced that the big man has been ruled out for the game roughly two hours before tip-off Wednesday night.

Porzingis was listed as questionable for Boston on Tuesday's injury report, after it was announced that he suffering a rare tendon injury in the third quarter of the Celtics' Game 2 win in Boston on Sunday night. He and Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla shrugged off the injury as nothing serious after the game, but that tune changed Tuesday afternoon in Dallas when it was announced that Porzingis had suffered "a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg."

It's similar to the injury that Curt Schilling suffered back in 2004 during the Red Sox' run to a World Series title. Schilling underwent a special procedure that allowed him to pitch in the ALCS against the Yankees -- the famous "Bloody Sock Game" -- and the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

The Boston medical staff watched Porzingis warm up in Dallas and decided that it wasn't best for him to try to play Wednesday night. We'll see if Porzingis can maybe give it a go Friday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. 

"Day-to-day, the medical staff said it wasn't what was best for him to go tonight," said head coach Joe Mazzulla. "We'll see how he is tomorrow and the next day."

Porzingis missed 10 games this postseason with a right calf strain, but returned to give the Celtics a huge boost off the bench in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He scored 20 points off 8-for-13 shooting, including 2-for-4 from downtown, to go with six rebounds and three blocks, as the Mavericks had no answer for Boston's 7-foot-4 unicorn. He had 12 points and four rebounds in Game 2, but didn't play the final 4:40 of the Celtics' win.

The Celtics have gone 30-5 without Porzingis this year, including 9-1 in the playoffs. They won a road game in Dallas during the regular season without Porzingis, 119-110, in January. Al Horford started in his place and scored 11 points to go with six rebounds, while Luke Kornet played 19 minutes off the bench and pulled down five rebounds.

With Porzingis out Wednesday night, the Celtics will be counting on Horford to turn back the clock again. Jayson Tatum could potentially play some minutes at center, with Kornet, Xavier Tillman, and Oshae Brissett likely being called upon to fill the void.

Mazzulla said that he has conversations with Boston's reserve bigs about potential rotations and sub patterns, as well as "if-then" scenarios the team may have to employ during Game 3. 

Porzingis' absence is a blow for the Celtics, but they'll employ the "next man up" mentality they've had all year when the big man had to miss games.

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