Boston guard Marcus Smart was sidelined Tuesday with a bruised right thigh as the Celtics earned a 109-86 victory over the Bucks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Smart was hurt Sunday in the loss to the Bucks in Game 1. The Kia Defensive Player of the Year was hit twice in his thigh and briefly left the game after also suffering a right shoulder stinger. But he logged 33 minutes in Game 1, finishing with 10 points with six assists.
Even without the 2021-22 Kia Defensive Player of the Year, the Celtics clamped down on Giannis Antetokounmpo after his triple-double in the series opener, limiting him to 28 points in Game 2.
Boston coach Ime Udoka said Smart experienced some swelling, pain and restricted movement over the past two days. The expectation is for him to be ready when the series shifts to Milwaukee for Game 3.
Marcus Smart (right thigh contusion) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 3, 2022
“I don’t think it’s long-term,” Udoka said. “He got hit and missed some games in the past. With three days off we’re assuming he’ll be OK.”
Smart has been the defensive anchor for the Celtics throughout the 2021-22 season, while also providing steady offense. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in the playoffs.
Derrick White took his place in the starting lineup, making his first start in a playoff game since 2019 when he was with San Antonio.
With Tuesday’s victory, Boston now evens up the series 1-1 with Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.