BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics will have two of their best players back Thursday night when they try to continue Boston’s recent run of dominance over Los Angeles teams.
Both Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris will be back in the Boston lineup when they host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. After both players missed Tuesday night’s win in Cleveland, neither appeared on the injury report that the Celtics released on Wednesday.
A lingering left hip strain sidelined Irving on Tuesday, the same injury that kept him out of two games last week. Irving has missed eight games this season due to various ailments, and also missed a road game in Utah to attend a memorial service for his late grandfather. He’s been Boston’s MVP when on the floor though, averaging a team-high 23.8 points, seven assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. In his last nine games played, Irving has averaged 28.3 points on 55 percent shooting.
Morris will return after missing Tuesday’s game with right knee soreness. The veteran forward has also been one of Boston’s best players this season, averaging 14.8 points (third on the team) and 6.1 rebounds per game. Having both players back will give Boston a great shot at extending their five-game win streak against the 27-27 Lakers.
Los Angeles is coming off a 42-point blowout loss in Indiana on Tuesday.
While that Irving and Morris will return, center Aron Baynes will miss his third straight game with a left foot injury on Thursday. But he is expected to be out until after the All-Star break, so his absence is no real surprise, and could also pave the way for more playing time for rookie Robert Williams III. “Time Lord” is listed as questionable after missing Tuesday night with back soreness.