Celtics' Irving plans rest period to aid knee

Image result for domantas sabonis pacers

Image result for domantas sabonis pacers

During an appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub last week, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suggested that knee soreness might be something that Irving would have to "manage the rest of his career".

Myles Turner scored inside posting on Marcus Morris for a 97-95 lead with 21 ticks left. "We got the stop at the end, but we have to continue to grow".

Kyrie Irving doesn't sound too concerned about his sore left knee, but the Celtics guard hinted that he may be taking some time off so the ailment doesn't get any worse ahead of the NBA Playoffs.

"I think (rest) will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days than it usually does".

"If he doesn't feel 100 percent, then we need to have him sit, and so I think that that is something that we've all talked about, and [that's] why he didn't come back in [against Indiana]", Stevens said. The 25-year-old insisted he's not overly concerned about the knee being an issue going forward, but still plans to take extra precaution to avoid a more serious injury.

The Pacers win put them 1.5 games up on Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the East.

"I'm not concerned. Where we are in the season, I'm pretty comfortable", he said.

Irving played 16 first-half minutes but did not return for the start of the second half. The Celtics were already without Al Horford (illness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) for Sunday's contest, and now they will need to rely heavily on their bench with Irving sidelined. Right now, I'm not able to do that. When the teams met in Indianapolis on December 18, the Pacers blew a four-point lead in the final 19 seconds, capped by Rozier's steal and dunk - also with 1.5 seconds left.

The Pacers got the ball to Victor Oladipo on the inbounds and he hit both free throws for a four-point game with 10.8 to go.

Smart scored 20 with eight assists and Tatum scored 19 for the Celtics, who had won six of their last seven.

IN quickly erased a 10-point halftime deficit, scoring 11 straight points: back-to-back 3-pointers from Bojan Bogdanovich and Joseph, and then five points in a row from Oladipo, to take a 60-57 lead.

"Obviously, it was a tough situation for our team", Stevens said.

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