Celtics Notes: Hauser, Pritchard, Tatum, Porzingis

Celtics forward Sam Hauser appears to have escaped serious injury after stepping on the foot of a Wizards player during Sunday’s game, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. X-rays on Hauser’s left ankle came back negative, according to Himmelsbach’s source. His status for tonight’s game against Detroit hasn’t been determined, but he isn’t expected to be out of action long.

Hauser was on the verge of a historic night when the injury occurred early in the third quarter. He was 10-of-13 from beyond the arc, leaving him one short of the franchise record for three-pointers in a game and four away from Klay Thompson‘s league mark. Coach Joe Mazzulla recognizes what a dangerous shooter he has in Hauser, who’s connecting at 43.2% from long distance this season and is typically one of the team’s most durable players, writes Brian Robb of MassLive.

“I loved his confidence, loved his aggressiveness, loved how guys look for him and I love how he got his shots within the flow of our execution,” Mazzulla said. “And that’s the weapon that he is, his ability to just put two on the ball, his ability to create open shots for himself and for other people, so it was fun to watch him shoot him. It was fun to watch his guys look for him.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Payton Pritchard registered his first double-double of the season, posting 14 points and 13 assists in the win over Washington, notes Souichi Terada of MassLive. Pritchard was vocal about his lack of playing time last season, but he has settled into a regular reserve role after signing a four-year extension last summer. “I think Payton really, amongst our season, has been kind of underrated and the growth that he’s had as a player,” Mazzulla said. “His ability to play with the ball, his ability to play without the ball. He’s finding ways without scoring to highly impact the game, whether it’s his assists or with his defense or his rebounding.”
  • With the top seed in the East all but wrapped up, the Celtics will likely rest their stars a little over the last month of the season, but it won’t be easy to convince Jayson Tatum to go along with that plan, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (video link). “I’ve been here seven years. They understand kind of what they’re dealing with,” Tatum said. “I don’t like to sit out. I understand if I was injured or whatever, but I said it before, I just love to play the game.”
  • Wizards interim coach Brian Keefe is impressed by the development of Kristaps Porzingis, Himmelsbach adds in a separate piece. Keefe was with the Knicks when they drafted Porzingis in 2014 and was tasked with helping him get ready for the NBA. Keefe also coached him last season as an assistant in Washington. “He’s grown tremendously,” Keefe said. “This is kind of what we probably all envisioned when we first had him. The guy was so versatile, could play multiple different positions inside and outside. I’m thrilled that he’s having a great year this year.” Porzingis missed his fifth straight game Sunday due to hamstring soreness, but he worked out on the court prior to the game and may return to action tonight.
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