As a result of inflammation in his right ankle, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was declared inactive for Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Guard Malcolm Brogdon sat out for the fourth straight game for the East-leading Celtics with an injured right hamstring.
Prior to the Celtics’ visit to Atlanta, Smart had started all 14 games he played in and was averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 assists. Brogdon has started 11 games off the bench, averaging 13.7 points per game.
The Celtics extended their winning run to eight games with a 126-101 victory against the Hawks on the strength of their depth. The Celtics had seven players score in double digits, led by Jaylen Brown’s 22 points. Payton Pritchard scored 14, while Jayson Tatum had 19. Grant Williams scored 18. Derrick White had 16. Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet both scored 15.
Hauser scored all of his points from beyond the arc (he shot 5 for 6), White dished out a game-high 10 assists, and Kornet shot 7 for 7 from the field.
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White boasted, “We’ve got a lot of people that can do a lot of things to help us win games.” Everyone on our roster has our full confidence. They are helpful when they visit. It’s a long season, and players are certain to be hurt or sit out at some point. Everyone’s going to have to pitch in here.
The Celtics still managed to win despite missing two starters, as they shot 54.5% from the floor and made 21 three-pointers.
In the wake of last year’s NBA Finals defeat to the Warriors, Boston’s reserves have been keen to make up for a disappointing performance and a lack of depth.
‘It sparks a little fire,’ Hauser said. “Everyone has kind of taken it personal a little bit.”