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Brad Stevens: Jaylen Brown doubtful for game one vs. 76ers

Just as Marcus Smart returns, another Celtics player heads to the sidelines nursing an injury.

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This team can’t catch a break.

Two games after Marcus Smart returned to the lineup, Jaylen Brown exited Game 7 with a grade one hamstring strain that’ll likely affect his status into the 76ers series.

Brown stepped out with three minutes remaining in the second quarter against the Bucks, immediately signaling to the bench that he had hurt his right hamstring after stopping short on one end of the court. He hobbled back and forth for a few sets before he fouled and left, never to return. Boston held on, but Brad Stevens indicated they’ll likely have to sustain without him for the near future.

After the game he said Brown could have went in the fourth quarter in a pinch, but precaution and the Celtics’ double-digit lead allowed them to save him. He rode the stationary bike throughout the third quarter, attempted to jog in the tunnel and stretched on the sideline with trainers standing nearby but caution prevailed.

He stated his intense desire to return overtaking his long-held stance against taking pills, but Stevens’ update Sunday afternoon only provided some solace on his condition. He said Brown’s still feeling pain, despite positive testing, and that he’ll be doubtful for Game 1. The possibility is still open he plays in the series.

Hamstrings are notoriously tricky, with many online medical publications advising for weeks of recovery in the case of a hamstring strain. The most recent Celtics example was Avery Bradley’s series-ending strain in Game 1 against the Hawks in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. His injury was closer to grade two, as it had him rolling on the ground in pain, feeling a pop and unable to walk off. Brown’s visible discomfort didn’t approach that, but only time can heal the injury.

For Boston, time’s short. Game 1 against Philadelphia is 8 p.m. tomorrow, but fortunately there’s a layoff until Thursday toward Game 2. Brown scored 125 of Boston’s 717 points in Round One, good for 17 percent.

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