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Jayson Tatum (ankle) questionable for Celtics-Mavericks showdown

The Celtics MVP candidate landed awkwardly on DeMar DeRozan's foot on Monday

NBA: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls
Jayson Tatum defends DeMar DeRozan in the second half Monday.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics may be without Jayson Tatum when they host Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Tatum is listed as questionable with a left ankle sprain he suffered against the Bulls on Monday. While it doesn’t appear to be anything serious, the Celtics could take a cautious approach with Tatum, who has played in every game this season.

He’s averaging a career-high 30.2 points, along with 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, and has established himself as a legitimate Most Valuable Player contender. Tatum has thrived as a facilitator this week, racking up 8.3 assists a night in Boston’s last three games.

Tatum, who is third in the NBA at 37.2 minutes per game, is also dealing with a lingering left wrist injury. If he’s out Wednesday, that will of course deprive fans of a juicy Tatum-Doncic matchup.

Doncic is 5-2 against Tatum and has a 27.7 to 21.4 edge in points per game. The Mavericks have won each of the last four meetings, and all have been decided by five points or fewer, so Tatum is likely itching for an opportunity to get the upper hand.

His absence would also likely give Sam Hauser, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard – and potentially Noah Vonleh, Blake Griffin and Justin Jackson – a spike in minutes.

It’s very possible he’ll play, and play well, but a day off wouldn’t be the worst thing for the 24-year-old superstar.

Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) and Robert Williams (left knee surgery) are the only other Celtics on the report.

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