Al Horford out tonight against the Pacers


BOSTON — Already short-handed with Jaylen Brown (concussion) out for tonight’s game against Indiana, the Celtics will also be missing Al Horford.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed an earlier NBC Sports Boston report that Al Horford was under the weather and would not play tonight. 

"He tried to come in," said Stevens who added that Horford had a fever.

Stevens said the two Marcuses, Smart and Morris, would be in the lineup for Brown and Horford. They join Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Aron Baynes.

Smart and Morris have been key performers for a Celtics bench that has been among the best in the NBA since the all-star break, which has made Stevens reluctant to break them up when a player was out of the first unit due to injury.

“It’s a little different when you’re missing two starters,” Stevens said. “Obviously, we’re going to match a ton of different guys on (Victor) Oladipo and Smart is one of them.”

Horford’s absence doesn’t appear to be anything long term, but Stevens reiterated that he doesn’t anticipate Brown returning to the lineup anytime soon. 

Brown suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Boston’s 117-109 win at Minnesota on Thursday when, following a two-handed dunk, he lost his grip on the rim and fell with a hard thud on is back. 

The 6-foot-7 guard/forward eventually rose to his feet and made his way back to the locker room. He was examined by medical officials in Minnesota and cleared to return with the team that night. 

Upon his return, he was re-evaluated and it was determined that he had a concussion and thus had to be put in the league’s NBA concussion protocol program. 

“Today was his best day,” Stevens said of Brown. “His head feels better and his body is starting to feel better. He’s making progress, but it’s still … I don’t anticipate him being on the court this week. Hopefully as we enter next week, we’ll see where he is.”


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