Amid COVID-19 outbreak, late shorthanded Celtics fight fails against Warriors
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Ahead of Friday night’s game against Golden State, the Celtics lost five players after being placed in league health and safety protocols.
Boston was also missing Dennis Schroder due to an illness unrelated to Covid.
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In the 24 hours leading up to the game, five players – forwards Jabari Parker, Juancho Hernangomez, Grant Williams and Sam Hauser, and center Al Horford – all entered protocols, leaving head coach Ime Udoka with a roster. severely exhausted to face the scorching warriors.
MORE: NBA COVID-19 Tracker
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating. It’s something everyone plays,” Udoka said before the game. “You’ve seen Chicago and Brooklyn and other teams hit with it.
“It’s something we’ve tried to avoid, but sometimes it seems inevitable for everyone. Sometimes you have to change the lineups, but we have other guys who are capable, and we’ll increase those minutes. other than you can do We have 11 healthy bodies.
Udoka had to pilot his starters for long stretches – all except Romeo Langford, who left the game with a neck injury, played 33 minutes or more, led by Jayson Tatum’s record of 42 minutes. Tatum registered a team-high 27 points, as well as eight rebounds and six assists.
Despite being understaffed, Boston managed to push their way from 20 points behind in the second quarter to take an 84-82 lead early in the fourth.
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Golden State then escaped, incidentally led by Andre Iguodala and Damion Lee, for the 111-107 victory. The Celtics could have won the game without eight missed free throws in the second half.
After the game, Udoka said of Boston’s comeback attempt when six players were missing: “I loved the fight and the effort overall.”
Coach Udoka: “I loved the fight and the overall effort. Outnumbered or not we have some capable guys and we feel we defended at the right level in the second half.”
– Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 18, 2021
Boston drops to 14-15 this season, with games against the Knicks, 76ers and Cavaliers to close their pits before Christmas.
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