By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) —  Jaylen Brown will not play in Friday night’s game against the L.A. Clippers, leaving the Celtics without one of the team’s best players. But Payton Pritchard has been upgraded to “available,” so the rookie point guard will likely play for the first time in two weeks.

Brown was a surprise addition to Thursday’s injury report with left knee soreness. Brown was limping slightly after a driving layup early in the third quarter in Wednesday night’s loss to the Sacramento Kings, but he remained in the game and finished with 21 points in 31 minutes. This could be that his knee is barking a bit given his heavy workload this season, having played in all 20 games so far.

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A Brown absence is unfortunate for the Celtics as the team looks to bounce back against the 17-6 Clippers. Brown is having a career year for Boston, averaging 26.4 points off 52 percent shooting overall. He is currently fourth in Eastern Conference All-Star voting at the guard position. A night without Brown certainly won’t help Boston’s cause against Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the Staples Center, where the Clippers are 8-2 on the season.

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At least Pritchard may be back, which would be a big boost to Boston’s guard depth. The breakout rookie has missed the last two weeks after spraining his MCL back on Jan. 22, and was said to be close to returning Wednesday night. The Celtics will also have Kemba Walker back in the mix against L.A. after he sat out Wednesday night’s loss — the second leg of a back-to-back.

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The Clippers will be without guard Patrick Beverly for Friday night’s tilt, as he’ll miss his seventh straight game with knee soreness. George is listed as questionable with soreness in his right foot. Staff