Jayson Tatum injury update: Celtics star has ‘swollen’ eye originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Jayson Tatum is not having an enjoyable series against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics star has struggled on the court in the first-round NBA playoff series, shooting just 28.1% (9 for 32) from the floor through two games in Brooklyn, both Boston losses.
Game 2 takeaways: Celtics need much more from Jayson Tatum
And in Game 2, his night was cut short due to injury. Nets star Kevin Durant hit Tatum in the right eye early in third quarter, causing Tatum to fall to the court and eventually head to the locker room.
Tatum returned to the bench later in the quarter but was ruled out for the rest of the game, finishing the night with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in 21 minutes in the Celtics’ 130-108 loss.
“He went back out on the court and tried to kind of readjust to the light out there, and he was really struggling,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said after the game.
“He got scratched pretty good. It looks pretty red, it looks pretty swollen to me. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is. But obviously he’s uncomfortable right now.”
Tatum’s status for Friday’s Game 3 in Boston is unclear, but he’ll have two full days to recover. Celtics guard Marcus Smart also noted his teammate was in “good spirits” after the game.
“It was serious, but I don’t think it’s as serious as people thought,” Smart said.
Tatum is by far the Celtics’ best offensive player with Jaylen Brown sidelined, so Boston will need the 23-year-old to be at his best to have any chance of avoiding a series sweep.
Game 3 is set for Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden.