Celtics news: Jaylen Brown (back spasms) ruled out vs. Heat
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Jaylen Brown (back spasms) ruled out for Celtics vs. Heat

Jaylen Brown, Celtics

The Boston Celtics will be without swingman Jaylen Brown for Monday’s meeting with the Miami Heat as he deals with back spasms.

Head coach Brad Stevens announced the injury before the game, which should allow Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier to potentially see larger roles with the second unit.

Jaylen Brown has appeared in each of the Celtics’ previous 50 games, last missing their Dec. 12 contest. Utilized as one of Boston’s most consistent bench scorers, Stevens will be tasked with shuffling the rotations in Brown’s absence for what will be a critical game for the Heat — who are entrenched in a battle for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics’ playoff fate is more certain. While they want to maintain a high level of play entering the postseason, they will be locked into the 4-vs-5 battle against the Indiana Pacers, barring a cataclysmic change of fortunes.

Both Boston and Indiana enter play Monday at 45-32, with Boston owning the tiebreaker. The two jockey for who will likely have home-court advantage in their first-round match-up.

After a breakout playoff run last season, Brown has had to settle in as Boston’s primary scorer off the bench this 2018-19 campaign. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back in the mix, Brown has seen his shot attempts dip from 14.8 per game during last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals to 10.7 during this year’s regular season.

Brown’s next chance to return to the court comes Wednesday, where the Celtics will once again face the Heat — this time on the road.