Celtics Play Without Injured Kyrie Irving (Shoulder), Lose To Joel Embiid And Sixers
Kyrie Irving Injury News
However, the five-time All-Star said an MRI revealed no structural damage.
Irving, 25, said he could return to the court for Sunday’s home contest against Orlando.
Marcus Smart started in Irving’s place Thursday against Philadelphia.
“Just precautionary stuff and just making sure everything is all right from a strength perspective,” Irving said before Thursday’s game. “Obviously a few days will definitely put me where I need to be, and we’ll just see what goes on for Sunday’s game. It’s nothing too crazy. It was just giving me a little discomfort over the past few weeks, and I’ve just been playing through it, in terms of preparing best for every single game, and I just felt it best to get a few tests and make sure everything’s all right.”
Coach Brad Stevens said before Thursday’s matchup said he didn’t expect fourth-year guard Smart — or nearly anyone else — to match Irving’s prowess.
“You have to play a little bit differently when Kyrie’s not available,” Stevens stated. “But we can’t try to be Kyrie. We have to be better at what we do ourselves rather than be someone we’re not.”
Embiid led the Sixers with 26 points, 16 rebounds (a career-high) and six assists. Dario Saric added 16 points for Philadelphia, which won for the sixth time in seven games and forced 19 turnovers Thus. T.J. McConnell scored all 15 of his points in the second half.
After winning seven straight, the Celtics (34-12) have lost two in a row, but remain atop the Eastern Conference. Al Horford and Marcus Morris had 14 points each.
The Sixers (21-20, eighth in Eastern Conference) next host Milwaukee on Saturday night.
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 2: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at TD Garden on October 2, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)