The Boston Celtics' underwhelming NBA season has taken another turn for the worse, with star wing Jaylen Brown ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Brown has enjoyed a breakout season, albeit one marred by nagging knee and ankle injuries - however was a torn ligament in his left wrist that was discovered last weekend.
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Brown has missed the Celtics' past three games with a sprained right ankle, which he sustained during a collision with Jayson Tatum late in a 129-119 loss to Portland on May 2.
Boston (35-33) has lost two of three since then and started the week seventh in the Eastern Conference with four games left.
His injury is the latest blow to a team that was hoping to challenge for the conference title a season after losing to Miami in the conference finals.
Boston has struggled to find consistency as several key players have either been injured or spent extended time in the league's health and safety protocols.
Brown's absence will make it difficult for Boston to avoid the play-in round of the postseason.
He appeared to injure the wrist during Boston's 119-115 loss to Oklahoma City on April 27, but said afterward he was ''fine.'' It was one of the best games of the season for Brown, who finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.
Brown logged 113 minutes over the Celtics' next three games, averaging 24 points.
He is averaging 24.7 points, six rebounds and 3.4 assists in 58 games this season. The points and assists are career highs.
Celtics second-year guard Romeo Langford tore the same ligament prior to training camp in September. He was sidelined for six months, missed Boston's first 49 games and didn't make his season debut until last month.
Sixers power ahead amid Boston woes
Joel Embiid's MVP credentials can be debated but Philadelphia are leaving no doubt they are the best in the Eastern Conference.
Embid had 37 points and 13 rebounds to chants of "MVP! MVP!" as the 76ers inched closer towards securing top spot in the East with a 109-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Don't necessarily count Sixers coach Doc Rivers among those impressed with winning the conference.
"I don't look at being a No.1 seed as this great achievement," Rivers said.
"I just think it's great to have because of home court. The achievement is winning it (all). Everything else is what you need to do to try and win."
Tobias Harris scored 17 points and Australia's Ben Simmons posted nine rebounds, 10 assists and eight points as Philadelphia (46-21) won their season-high seventh straight game and increased their lead to three games over the Brooklyn Nets.
With Yahoo Sports US/AAP
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