NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Phoenix 21 16 28 21 86
Boston 26 27 24 22 99
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)00:0019:00 ET5:00 PM CT22:00 , April 22, 2021
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 2,298

Celtics face questions with Suns coming to town

According to STATS
According to STATS

Phoenix Suns at Boston Celtics

  1. When these teams met on February 7, the Suns held the Celtics to 26 points in the paint, Boston's lowest total in any game this season.
  2. The Suns are 10-3 in the second game of back-to-backs this season, including a 4-1 road record. That one loss came in their most recent road back-to-back game, at the Clippers on April 8.
  3. The Celtics had only three offensive rebounds in their loss to the Bulls on Monday, tying their lowest total in a game this season.
  4. Devin Booker has averaged 29.4 points per game against the Celtics, the highest for any player since Michael Jordan retired having averaged 30.7 points per game against Boston in the regular season.
  5. Jayson Tatum had a triple-double on Monday but shot only 17.3 percent from the floor (3 for 17). That's the lowest field-goal percentage in an NBA triple-double this season.
  6. Chris Paul made five three-pointers in last night's win over the 76ers, his highest total in any game this season.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Despite a two-day break, the Boston Celtics have plenty of question marks in play as they get set to host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Five players were listed on the Celtics' injury report Wednesday, the most notable being swingman Jaylen Brown as doubtful with left shoulder bursitis. Fellow All-Star Jayson Tatum is questionable with left ankle impingement but said he believes he'll play.

Evan Fournier (health and safety) and Robert Williams III (left knee soreness) each remain out, and guards Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker are expected to return from missing the team's loss Monday with non-COVID illnesses. Smart practiced Wednesday while the hope is Walker, listed as probable, suits up after an extra day of rest.

Boston (31-27) enters Thursday having won eight of its last 10 games to reinsert itself in the conversation for a top-four playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Coach Brad Stevens is crossing his fingers that he'll get his club healthy as it enters the final month.

"We're hopeful at some point, here in the next 14 games, we can have everybody on the roster available," Stevens said.

The Suns (42-16), meanwhile, are firing on all cylinders, having won 13 of their past 15 games to nip the heels of the Utah Jazz for the best record in the NBA. Phoenix extended its run of success with a 116-113 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Chris Paul led with 28 points in the contest, and Devin Booker scored eight of his 19 points in the final 2:03 to help seal the result.

"That's winning basketball," Paul said of Booker's play. "When you get your opportunity ... that's why Book is who he is. He made the timely shots."

The win improved the Suns to an NBA-best 19-7 on the road this season.

Phoenix and Boston faced off earlier on Feb. 7, with the Suns coming away with a 100-91 victory on their home court. The Celtics rallied from down 17 to get within three with 1:04 left before ultimately falling short.

Boston similarly came up empty against the Chicago Bulls on Monday. Down eight to begin the fourth quarter, the Celtics battled back to tie the game with 3:25 remaining before fading down the stretch of a 102-96 loss.

"It was a tough night," said Tatum, who finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first career triple-double despite 3-for-17 shooting.

Having a tough night for the Suns on Wednesday was forward Jae Crowder, who sustained a right ankle sprain in the victory over the 76ers. Crowder, a former Celtic, is listed as day-to-day.

Phoenix has three games remaining on its East Coast swing, which it has started with two straight victories. The team will play another back-to-back Sunday and Monday against the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, respectively.

Boston will be back on the court Friday night against the Nets in Brooklyn.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 22, 2021

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