Celtics’ Al Horford, Marcus Smart updates: Boston getting healthy for East Finals Game 2 vs. heat

Help is on the way for the battered and beleaguered Boston Celtics

The Boston Globe report guard Marcus Smart has been upgraded to probable for Game 2 or the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday vs. the Miami Heat

Smart, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, missed Tuesday’s 118-107 loss in Game 1 after suffering a sprained ankle in the East semis vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Globe also reports forward Al Horford has been upgraded to doubtful. He missed Game 1 because of COVID-19 protocols.

If Horford tested positive for COVID, he would need to produce two negative PCR tests over a 24-hour period or have a viral load below a certain threshold four days after his first positive test.

Here’s what you need to know about Game 2, which tips off at 8:30 pm ET, from the Associated Press:

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Boston Celtics (51-31, second in the Eastern Conference) vs. Miami Heat (53-29, first in the Eastern Conference)

Heat lead series, 1-0

FANDUEL SPORTS BOOK LINE

heat -4; over/under is 206

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BOTTOM LINE

The Miami Heat hosts the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals with a 1-0 lead in the series. The Heat won the last matchup 118-107 on May 18 led by 41 points from Jimmy Butler, while Jayson Tatum scored 29 points for the Celtics.

The Heat have gone 35-17 against Eastern Conference teams. Miami is eighth in the Eastern Conference scoring 110.0 points while shooting 46.7% from the field.

The Celtics are 33-19 against Eastern Conference opponents. Boston is ninth in the Eastern Conference with 11.1 fast break points per game led by Jaylen Brown averaging 3.2.

TOP PERFORMERS

Tyler Herro is scoring 20.7 points per game and averaging 5.0 rebounds for the Heat. Butler is averaging 29.1 points and 8.2 rebounds over the last 10 games for Miami.

Tatum is scoring 26.9 points per game with 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Celtics. Brown is averaging 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 47.5% over the last 10 games for Boston.

LAST 10 GAMES

Heat: 7-3, averaging 106.6 points, 42.0 rebounds, 21.8 assists, 8.1 steals and 3.9 blocks per game while shooting 45.9% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 98.3 points per game.

Celtics: 6-4, averaging 107.1 points, 41.6 rebounds, 24.7 assists, 6.5 steals and 6.5 blocks per game while shooting 44.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 101.7 points.

INJURIES

Heat: Kyle Lowry: out (hamstring).

Celtics: Marcus Smart: day to day (foot), Sam Hauser: out (shoulder).

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njaadvancemedia.com

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