By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics have two monumental games coming up against the Heat, which will likely determine if it’s Boston or Miami playing in the NBA play-in tournament ahead of the postseason. The good news for Boston is that Jaylen Brown is expected to return for those games.

Brown will miss his second straight game on Friday night when Boston visits the Chicago Bulls. But president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge said during his interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning that Brown will “probably” return Sunday when the C’s play their first of two straight against the Heat.

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Brown was diagnosed with a sprained ankle after a scary collision with Jayson Tatum at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Blazers at TD Garden. It was a scary scene when Boston’s two best players crashed into each other on the sideline, as both players went down in a heap. Tatum appeared to be OK in the immediate aftermath, but Brown remained down for several minutes and had to be helped to the Boston locker room. He couldn’t put any weight on the ankle, and seeing Brown hop to the locker room gave the injury an ominous feel immediately after the game.

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But it appears that Brown has avoided a serious injury, and will be back in time for the two biggest games left on Boston’s schedule. The 24-year-old has had a career-year for Boston, averaging 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The first-time All-Star is having his best shooting season as well, hitting 48 percent from the floor while knocking down 39.7 percent of his shots from three-point range.

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After the Celtics host the Heat on Sunday, the two teams will square off in Miami next Tuesday night. Both sit at 35-31 on the season, though Boston owns the tie-breaker (and at the moment, the six-seed in the East) thanks to its 107-105 victory in Miami back in January.

CBSBoston.com Staff