Al Horford cleared from COVID protocols to play in Game 2 vs. Heat

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Boston Celtics center Al Horford has been cleared from COVID-19 health and safety protocols to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday, the Celtics announced.

Horford missed Game 1 in which the Heat won 118-107 for a 1-0 series lead.

Horford was asymptomatic, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Thursday, indicating the team was trying to test Horford out of protocols. He needed two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour window. There were secondary paths that also could have led to clearing protocols.

Horford has been an integral part of the Celtics this postseason, averaging 13 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting 45.1% from 3-point range.

The Celtics listed Marcus Smart as probable for Thursday's game with a right mid-foot sprain. Derrick White will miss Game 2 for personal reasons. His wife is due to give birth to their first child, Udoka said.

Smart, the Defensive Player of the Year, suffered the foot sprain in Sunday's Game 7 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals. He was seen in a walking boot.

Game 2 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday (ESPN).

Boston Celtics center Al Horford will be available for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals after clearing COVID-19 health and safety protocols. (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics center Al Horford will be available for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals after clearing COVID-19 health and safety protocols. (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
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