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UPDATE: Kristaps Porzingis out vs. Clippers

Porzingis left Thursday’s game after he sprained his ankle.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

Kristaps Porzingis avoided a serious injury that left Celtics fans holding their breath. In Thursday’s 143-110 victory over the Miami Heat, Porzingis left mid-way through the third quarter with a sprained ankle. Hobbling off the court, Celtics personnel helped him to the locker room.

The injury originated on a contested shot against Heat center Bam Adebayo. Landing awkwardly on his foot, Porzingis immediately tended to his left ankle. Prior to the end of the game, Porzingis returned to the bench. Although he was ruled doubtful to return, The Unicorn finished with 19 points in 21 minutes.

Post game, Porzingis shrugged off the injury, and appeared to be in good spirits in the locker room.

“I went to contest Bam’s [Adebayo] shot, and I came down and landed on his foot and rolled my ankle,” said Porzingis. “Not too bad, just in the moment, it got me pretty good. I’m feeling pretty good now.”

Listed as doubtful, Porzingis told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin he could have suited up again to play if needed. By the end of the game, Porzingis was seen standing, all smiles on the bench.

“A sprained ankle is no big deal in general,” said Porzingis Thursday night. “It’s feeling alright. That thing is going to swell up a little bit. We’ll see how it is tomorrow and go from there.”

After shaking up the roster in the offseason, Porzingis has been a difference maker the Celtics so badly needed. The C’s third leading scorer, number 8 is putting up 19.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, on 52.9 percent field goal shooting.

Such an important floor spacer and rim protect for Boston, Porzingis has proven he’s the absolute X-factor for them. He’s been hot the last ten games, averaging 18.4 points, and 2.1 blocks, on 47.3 percent three-point shooting.

If Porzingis is unable to suit up, Celtics big man Al Horford should get the starting nod, and Luke Kornet should see plenty of minutes off the bench. The Celtics blew out the Clippers 145-108 in late December without Porzingis. At the time, the Latvian native was ironically listed as out with a left ankle injury for the third time in five games.

In the Celtics last matchup against Los Angeles, Horford finished with 6 points, 2 blocks, 5 assists, and 8 rebounds, in 27 minutes of action. The Dominican native has been an integral part of this team, averaging 7.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists mainly off the bench. In 37 appearances this season, Horford’s gotten the starting nod 17 times.

Coming off three straight victories on a mini-road trip, the Celtics are set to start their seven-game homestand on Saturday.

UPDATE: The Celtics have officially ruled Porzingis out tonight against the Clippers. His next chance to suit up will be Monday against the Pelicans.

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