The Boston Celtics dropped their second consecutive game against the Philadelphia 76ers. This time in a 122-110 loss, the Celtics also learned that they’ll be without their rookie point guard for at least the foreseeable future.
Payton Pritchard, who was really close to Jaylen Brown when Jaylen went up for a rebound and fell awkwardly on his way down, landed on Pritchard’s foot before Payton hit the deck. He grabbed his right knee and was shortly helped off the court by his teammates.
Celtics’ Payton Pritchard Suffers Sprained Right Knee
The Celtics announced Pritchard suffered a sprained right knee. Brad Stevens provided a brief update following the loss.
“He’s out for the next couple of days,” Stevens said. “I don’t know beyond that. I’m sure there’s tests and stuff set up for (Saturday).”
Pritchard clocked in just two minutes before the injury. The rookie’s production on both ends of the floor was sorely missed, especially his defense, in light of the Sixers’ backcourt or Ben Simmons (15 points, 11 assists) and Seth Curry (15 points, 3-of-5 from 3) combining for 30 points on 13-of-20 attempts from the floor.
Joel Embiid followed up one monster double-double of Wednesday night with another on Friday (38 points, 11 rebounds).
Brad Stevens On Back-To-Back Losses Vs. Sixers: ‘We Have To Do Our Jobs Better’
For Boston, it was Jaylen Brown tying his career-high 42 points that led the charge. He connected on 16-of-28 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from deep and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Brown’s dominant performance gave the Celtics a chance but Philly’s emphatic third quarter — where it outscored Boston, 42-28 — proved too much to handle.
“We just have to be better, we have to be more detail-oriented,” Stevens explained. “Everything has to be crisper, everything has to be tighter, everything has to be done to perfection, even more so, when the other team is locked in. Two half hazard, in my opinion. I mean, hey, we had guys out. They have a really good team; they’re really physical. They hurt us with physicality in both games, this week. But, whenever you step between the lines and you got a chance to win or control what you can control; win or lose, whether we get over the hump or not, in this game, it’s not the point.
“The point is; we have to do our jobs better.”
Stevens also mentioned that his team needs to do a better job of connecting with one another, defensively, on the basketball floor, in order to be sustainably competitive. Those exact words were relayed to Brown after his big night where he tied his career-high in a losing effort.
But, what was Stevens’ message after the game and how did Jaylen and his team respond?
“It was centered on that; our identity as a Celtics team has always been we hang our hat on the defensive side of the ball, so, we haven’t been good enough, this year,” Brown said. “We got to be better and a lot of that is on me. I got to be better. I got to lead these guys, defensively, along with (Marcus) Smart. We got to get after teams and we just have to be better.”