- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 30, 2017

BOSTON — Markieff Morris looked down at his swollen left ankle and asked for an assessment.

“It doesn’t look that bad, right?”

Morris expects to play in Game 2 on Tuesday in Boston despite his still-swollen ankle.

Morris sprained his left ankle with 7:18 to play in the second quarter of Sunday’s opening game between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards and did not return. Boston went on to win, 123-111, opening a 1-0 series lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with Washington.

Morris told The Washington Times he received three rounds of treatment after leaving the game. Asked if he thinks he is going to play in Game 2, Morris said, “Hell, yeah.”

Washington’s starting power forward has a long history of ankle injuries. This one he was relieved about after the fact. At first, Morris thought something was broken. He clutched at his shin when he hit the floor after landing on Horford, who had slid under him to challenge his pull-up midrange shot.

“I took a shot, he stepped right under my foot,” Morris said. “Not sure if it was intentional or not, probably not, but that’s what happened. Rolled it onto his foot.”

Horford was not asked postgame about the play.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he was not sure what Morris‘ situation would be going forward. He does know that Morris presents a distinct matchup problem in this series and that Boston started its rally once he left the game.

Boston chose to start the game using a small lineup. Quickly seeing that was not working because of the size of Morris and Marcin Gortat, the Celtics sent Amir Johnson into the game. That didn’t work, either. Boston did get going when Kelly Olynyk was used against the smaller Wizards backups after Morris left the game.

“Disaster,” Gortat told The Washington Times of his thoughts when Morris went down. “I hope he’s going to be fine for Tuesday’s game. I lost my wing man. I need him dramatically. I’m by myself right now. I’m by myself out there. I’m battling a few big men out there.”

Gortat finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and numerous deep scratches up and down his arms.

The decision for Morris to sit out the remainder of the game was made by the Washington medical staff. It was predicated on this being Game 1 of a seven-game series.

“Long series,” Morris said. “Don’t want to make it worse. Just prepare for Game 2 and get it right.”


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