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Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis suffers ankle injury Thursday vs. Heat

Porzingis had to be helped to the locker room.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat
Kristaps Porzingis of the Boston Celtics shoots a free throw during the game against the Miami Heat on January 25, 2024 at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis suffered an ankle injury Thursday against the Miami Heat and had to be helped to the locker room. He is considered doubtful to return and given Boston’s current margin of victory, it seems like he’ll be out for the remainder of the game. Porzingis will finish the contest with 19 points, four rebounds and one assist.

This is a tough break for the Celtics, who have been the best team by record in the NBA for most of the season. Porzingis has been instrumental in Boston’s small-ball lineup featuring two point guards and two small forwards, being the big man who can score down low while also protecting the rim. He’s going to be a tough man to replace if this is indeed a long-term issue.

Al Horford and Luke Kornet will look to step into Porzingis’ minutes, with the long-time veteran getting the first crack at the starting role. The Celtics have plenty of options to make up for Porzingis’ scoring, but replacing his interior defense will be a more challenging issue. We’ll see how Boston deals with a potential absence from its frontcourt star.