BOSTON — Marcus Morris crashed hard to the court late in the third quarter against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, and referees drew the ire of the TD Garden crowd when they didn’t stop play as the Celtics forward lay prone beneath the basket.
After a Michael Beasley turnover near midcourt, Morris streaked in alone for a two-handed slam. Beasley, chasing from behind, appeared to inadvertently clip Morris near his head, contributing to him falling hard on his backside beneath the basket.
Both teams looked surprised when play continued, but Boston was unable to call timeout without possession. Celtics rookie Semi Ojeleye committed an intentional foul before the ball was inbounded to stop play, but that gave the Knicks two free throws and the ball.
Celtics trainers then sprinted onto the court to attend to Morris, and Beasley came over to check on him, as well. After being assisted to his feet and helped toward the visitors tunnel, Morris walked under his own power to the locker room.
The team initially termed Morris’ injury a bruised left hip, and he was ruled out for the rest of the game. Morris said after Boston’s 103-73 triumph that it was actually his backside that hurt.
“It was my a–. It wasn’t really my hip, so [my backside is] sore,” Morris said. “Very sore. I’ll go home and ice, see how I feel [Thursday].”
Morris is uncertain if he’ll miss additional time.
“I’m thinking we are just going to see how it goes. Doc says it might be 48 hours,” Morris said. “It might go away tomorrow, and it might linger. We’re not sure yet.”
The Celtics led by 16 points after Morris’ dunk, but fans inside TD Garden showered the refs with boos in the aftermath of the sequence while the play was reviewed. Boston players were diplomatic when asked if the game should have been stopped in that moment.
“It’s tough. It’s one of those things that if you’re on the other side, let’s say the guy’s not injured but the guy is down, you want to get ahead and try to score the ball and things like that,” Celtics All-Star big man Al Horford said. “I don’t know. That’s something that we’ll have to discuss and see. But as of right now, that’s the way it is.”
Morris said he wasn’t mad at Beasley but wished a foul had been called after the contact forced him to fall awkwardly to the court.
“My first thought was I didn’t hear not one whistle. I didn’t hear any whistles,” he said. “I felt like it should have been something, instead of just continuing to let the ball go. Other than that, I knew I was going to be sore, but I was able to get up and walk off.
“Beas is my guy, so I know he didn’t do it on purpose. It still should have been something. Something should have been called. I’m down with the injury and they’re continuing to play. It doesn’t make sense to me, but a lot of stuff doesn’t make sense.”
Morris finished with 20 points on 6 of 9 shooting in just 19 minutes of floor time before the injury. The short-handed Celtics already were playing without Kyrie Irving (quad), Marcus Smart (hand) and Shane Larkin (knee). Morris had been utilized at point guard at times, given Boston’s lack of pure ball-handlers.
“I’m wearing an Eagles jersey every day this week,” Morris said.