Morris nets 20pts but injures ankle

PHOENIX (Arizona) • It was a night of mixed emotions for the Boston Celtics' Marcus Morris, scoring 20 points against his former team Phoenix Suns before leaving the court injured.

His team went on to hold off their hosts 102-94 in their National Basketball Association (NBA) game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Monday.

Jayson Tatum added 23 points and Al Horford, 19, for Boston (51-23), who picked up their fourth consecutive victory and moved within three games of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto Raptors (54-20).

"Second night of a back-to-back, we needed a lot of energy to start with, and I felt like we did that as a group," Horford told NBC Sports.

The Celtics already has a lengthy injury list that included star guard Kyrie Irving, who is recovering from a left knee surgery.

Morris suffered his right ankle injury in the second half and did not return, although the X-rays came back negative, said the team.

"It's just sore,'' said the forward, who left the Suns in 2015.

"Be out a couple of days, but nothing long term."

With his points total, Tatum became the ninth rookie in the Celtics' franchise history to notch 1,000 points in his debut season.

Terry Rozier finished with 16 points, seven boards and three assists, after putting up a career-high 33 points with five rebounds, five steals and three assists on Sunday in a Boston win at Sacramento.

Josh Jackson matched Tatum's 23 points, as Phoenix (19-56) fell to their 12th straight defeat and lost for the 22nd time in 23 games.

The Suns have the NBA's worst record, 11/2 games behind the Grizzlies, after Memphis' 101-93 win in Minnesota on Monday.

The Celtics led by as many as 20 points in their game, while the Suns' biggest lead was only three.

Boston complete their four-game road trip tonight in Utah. Phoenix conclude a quick two-game home stand tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Morris nets 20pts but injures ankle'. Print Edition | Subscribe