NEW YORK — Marcus Smart has been beat up while playing in all 19 Celtics games this season, but that streak may be about to come to an end for a bit.

After taking a shot to his left eye in the first quarter of Sunday’s 113-104 win over the Knicks, Smart was hit in the midsection by a driving Kevin Knox with 8:01 left in the third quarter. He exited for the remainder of the games and is now taking stock of all his dents.

The latest has been diagnosed as an issue with his left oblique. That it comes on top of hip, ankle and finger injuries just brings it closer to critical mass. So does the fact this is the same oblique that caused him to miss the first round of last year’s playoffs and be hindered when he returned for Game 4 against Milwaukee.

It was at first thought he’d injured his hip again Sunday, but Smart corrected that as he walked toward the Celtics’ bus.

“No, just in my oblique,” he said. “Right in the same spot that I tore last season. It wasn’t as bad as the tear, but it’s still sore and pretty tender. We’re just going to take it slow and day by day re-evaluate it and see what we have to do.”

Smart didn’t have surgery last season, but he noted there is still scar tissue in the area.

“(He) just hit me in the right spot, right moment,” said Smart, who has to wear a compression glove on his left hand in pregame to help with the lingering finger problem.

As for whether it might be time for him to miss a game or more to get his body closer to healthy, Smart said, “I think so. I think that might be it. That might be my final straw. We’ll see how it goes.”

Oh, and the eye that got hit by Damyean Dotson Sunday?

“The eye is fine – a little scratched, but it’s all right,” Smart said.

ROBERT WILLIAMS had a thundering dunk and two blocked shots against the Knicks, but he was removed after a bad turnover and played just 6:49.

The 18-footer he hit against the Nets on Friday was the longest make of his NBA career.

“I mean, he’s worked hard on that stuff,” said Coach Brad Stevens. “That’s obviously not a shot that we’re seeking early in the clock, but they were so far off of him. … It was good to see Rob knock one down. Rob’s worked really hard on his skill. He’s not going to be a high-volume jump shooter though.”


76ERS 103, JAZZ 94: James Ennis III hit a 3 and dropped for three push-ups, and Tobias Harris scored 26 points to lead Philadelphia to a win over visiting Utah.
Al Horford scored 17 points to help the Sixers win for the eighth time in nine games and improve to 10-0 at home.
A night after the Raptors led the Jazz by 40 points at halftime, the Sixers led by a more modest 18 points at the break – a cushion needed late to secure the win against Utah.
Ennis, Philly’s super sub, had the crowd going wild in the first half when he was fouled on a 3 and did three quick push-ups to stretch the lead to 26 points. Ennis missed the free throw but it hardly mattered at home.

SUNS 109, HORNETS 104: Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 23 points, including two clutch 3-pointers in the final minute that lifted Phoenix to a win at Charlotte, North Carolina.

Devin Booker added 23 points and Dario Saric had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who snapped a three-game skid.

Marvin Williams led the Hornets with a season-high 22 points and Devonte Graham had 15 points and 12 assists.

HAWKS 104, WARRIORS 79: Trae Young scored 24 points, rookie De’Andre Hunter added 18 and host Atlanta snapped a 10-game losing streak.

The Warriors (4-18) finished with a season low in points. It was the lowest point total allowed by the Hawks.

Golden State dressed just nine players, even with center Kevon Looney returning to action after missing 19 games with a nerve condition.

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