The Boston Celtics announced Wednesday afternoon that Kristaps Porzingis will miss tonight’s matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a right knee contusion.
Tonight will be the ninth matchup missed by Porzingis this season. Third in scoring for the C’s, the rim protector is averaging 19.8 points, 7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.8 blocks in his first season with Boston.
The news comes after Porzingis was called for a controversial foul on Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin with .7 seconds left in the game Monday night. While the NBA referees later conducted a replay to determine if the foul occurred, evidence found he legally blocked the shot due to incidental contact to Mathurin’s arm.
Although it’s unclear how Porzingis suffered the injury, he’s coming off a 38-minute performance on Monday against Indiana. Despite the loss, the Latvian native had 19 points, three blocks, seven assists, and five rebounds.
While Boston will be thin at the front court position, both Jrue Holiday and Al Horford are available to suit up tonight.
Expected to have a monumental role, Al Horford will get the starting nod this evening. Without Porzingis, the Celtics will have a tough matchup against big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.
In their lone loss to Minnesota back in November, Horford started alongside Porzingis, finishing with just three points, four assists, and five rebounds. In seven games as a starter in place of the unicorn, he’s averaging 10 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
Tonight will be a tough task for Boston, since Minnesota remains the top defensive team in the league.
While his play isn’t always reflected in the box score, Horford has been stellar mostly off the bench this season, averaging 7.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 block on the year.
In their final matchup of the season, Boston (28-8) will look to even up the season series starting at 7 p.m. at the TD Garden.