BOSTON – While the Boston Celtics suffered a 129-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden on Sunday night, the status of All-Star guard Jaylen Brown limping off the track without putting any emphasis on far greater concern. his right leg after an awkward clash with teammate and fellow All-Star Jayson Tatum with 40.4 seconds left of the game.
Brown, who had 1
“I have no update on them,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Brown and Tatum, saying he only knew both players were being watched by the team’s doctors after the game.
However, Tatum spoke to the media after the competition and said he was fine.
“I should be good,” said Tatum, who followed his career-high 60-point performance Friday night against visiting San Antonio Spurs by 33 points in 37 minutes Sunday night, adding that he hoped Brown was okay. “We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
The late injuries to Brown and Tatum overshadowed a wildly entertaining game in which both teams shot 50% or better from 3-point range, with Portland (36-28), now winners of four straight, getting 33 points from CJ McCollum and 26 from Damian Lillard.
During the fourth quarter, however, two pieces helped swing the momentum in Portland’s favor: a goaltending call to Tristan Thompson about what appeared to be a good basket with 7:27 left; and Marcus Smart are sent off with 1:56 left after hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the groin.
Stevens said after the match that he was told he was not challenging the Thompson call in time – something referee Sean Wright, the crew chief for Sunday night’s match, confirmed in an after-interview with a pool reporter.
“During live play, the ball was touched by Thompson and it was considered to be in the cylinder at the time,” Wright said, explaining why the call was made.
“The challenging team needs to call a legal timeout and signal a coach’s challenge. When Coach Stevens calls a timeout, the ball was already in play with Portland having possession, therefore we could not give Boston a timeout.”
As for Smart, Wright said his contact with Nurkic (who was called to an offensive offense on the play) was considered unsportsmanlike, thus earning Smart the sixth draft of his career.
“It was a physical game,” Stevens said. “I have not seen the replay yet. I will look at the replay and then we will address it internally. But it is obviously a big game in a big moment.”
Meanwhile, Boston guard Evan Fournier, who has struggled since returning from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, scored 21 points on 8-to-10 shooting, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range.
Fournier, who had made a total of eight shots (including four 3-pointers) in the five games he had played since returning to the field on April 23 (he shot a total of 8-for-37 overall and 4-for -21 from 3) said that he felt that he had concussion in the wake of his positive diagnosis and that it had affected his vision and perception of depth.
“I’ve been really weird, to be honest,” Fournier said. “My plan was to stop talking about it so it could help me, but the thing is, I have a concussion. Right now it’s actually going a little better; but at first the bright lights bothered my eyes, and my vision was blurred.
“Everything just went too fast for me. That’s still the case. Some things are better, but sometimes I’m really struggling to focus, and my eyes are struggling to focus on one thing. My perception of depth is really bad right now. But I saw a specialist and she gave me some exercises and hopefully it will get better. “
Fournier, who the Celtics (34-31) acquired at the trade deadline using the trade exemption generated when Gordon Hayward signed with the Charlotte Hornets in high season, said that even though he was not 100 percent, the fact that he was physically healthy meant , that he felt he needed to be on the field with his new teammates.
“I mean, that’s the case,” Fournier said. “With this COVID thing, the truth is doctors and everyone, they really have no idea. It’s so new. But the things I feel, apparently a third of the population after COVID also got these symptoms. So it’s not an isolated case. But like I said, over time it will get better. Some people lost their taste in food and smell. For me, it’s just my consciousness and all that. It’s part of the senses.
“But it’s going to get better. It’s already a little bit better. But I want to keep working. I can not just play games or train because I’m not feeling well mentally. If my body is available, I have to to be available. “