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NBA playoffs: Celtics C Kristaps Porziņģis out for ‘several games’ with calf strain

NBA playoffs: Celtics C Kristaps Porziņģis out for 'several games' with calf strain

If the Boston Celtics want to close out the Miami Heat on Wednesday, they'll have to do it without Kristaps Porziņģis.

The Celtics' starting center has been ruled out for Game 5 with a right soleus strain and is expected to miss "several games" due to the injury, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The soleus is a muscle in the calf.

Game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday in Boston (TNT). The Celtics currently lead 3-1.

Porziņģis sustained the injury in Game 4 on Monday, exiting in the second quarter and never returning in a 102-88 win. After making a move on the perimeter, Porziņģis pulled up lame and immediately signaled to be taken out of the game.

That was preceded by another play in which Porziņģis appeared to tweak his leg and started limping.

The good news for the Celtics is it appears Porziņģis did not sustain an Achilles injury, which is what some feared after he exited the Heat's Kaseya Center in a walking boot. He underwent imaging Tuesday and it remains unclear how much time he will have to miss beyond Game 5.

The Celtics can buy themselves some rest and peace of mind with a win on Wednesday. The owners of the NBA's best regular-season record have looked dominant in their first-round series against a Miami team missing Jimmy Butler, outside of a Game 2 loss in which the Heat made a franchise-record 23 3-pointers.

Porziņģis, often battling Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo, had been having an up-and-down series before the injury. He scored 18 points on a combined 12-of-21 shooting in the Celtics' wins in Games 1 and 3, but was 1-of-9 with six points in Game 2.

The Celtics acquired Porziņģis in a trade with the Washington Wizards last offseason and enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career during the regular season. He was a central part of what got the Celtics the No. 1 overall seed, and they can only wonder when he'll be ready to return, assuming they take care of business against the Heat this week.

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