BOSTON — The Boston Celtics noticed each middle Al Horford and ahead Marcus Morris return to the starting lineup Sunday evening towards the Charlotte Hornets after lacking time with knee points.

Horford has missed the previous seven video games with patellofemoral ache syndrome in his left knee, whereas Morris has missed the previous two with proper knee soreness. Earlier than Sunday’s sport, nonetheless, Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed each could be again — and starting — towards Charlotte, because the Celtics strive to finish a three-game dropping streak.

Horford could be on a minutes restrict, although Stevens mentioned he wasn’t positive what that restrict could be, and would not know till sport time. Morris, nonetheless, would haven’t any restrictions.

The Celtics have struggled of late with out their starting frontcourt tandem, dropping their previous three video games — together with a 120-107 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks at house Friday evening that prompted a postgame staff assembly that stored the locker room closed for greater than a half-hour after the sport had ended.

However whereas Morris has been one in all Boston’s greatest gamers this season, getting Horford again is crucial for the Celtics as they enter a stretch that may see them face a string of sturdy publish gamers in upcoming video games, together with Philadelphia 76ers middle Joel Embiid, Houston Rockets middle Clint Capela, Memphis Grizzlies middle Marc Gasol, San Antonio Spurs ahead LaMarcus Aldridge and Minnesota Timberwolves middle Karl-Anthony Cities. The Celtics are already with out backup middle Aron Baynes, who has been sidelined for a number of weeks with a fractured bone in his left hand.

“[Horford’s] been a winner his entire profession, and there is a cause that he wins,” Stevens mentioned. “He makes large, impactful performs on the courtroom. Greater than that, he is a steadying presence on the staff and may direct us at each ends of the courtroom.

“A few of that’s manageable when Baynes is accessible, nevertheless it’s tougher once they’re each out. However there are video games the place completely different guys have to step up and play. I believed [Daniel] Theis and Robert [Williams] gave us good minutes on this stretch, and so they have to be prepared once more. Theis actually gave us good minutes on this stretch, and can play fairly a bit as Al is on his minutes restriction, in any case.”

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