When Gordon Hayward caught an inbounds lob from Marcus Smart with 37 seconds left Saturday night, got stuck in between a layup and a dunk attempt and watched dejectedly as the ball bounced away, the first person to approach him was not a surprise.

There was Smart, clapping his hands and putting an arm around Hayward. When Celtics.com reporter Taylor Snow posted video of the moment on Twitter, Smart tweeted the following response:

“Not a tough pill. Every player has been here. He’s a great teammate and a great player and what he does for our team is immeasurable! Love our team!”

As Smart later said, he knows what Hayward was feeling.

“I’ve been in that moment,” said Smart, who set a Celtics record with 11 3-pointers and finished with 37 points and eight assists in a 123-119 loss to the Phoenix Suns. “I’ve been there where you miss a crucial play, a crucial bucket, or make a mistake that you think at the time cost the game for you. But I told him keep your head up. You’re OK. You missing that is not why we are down, and if we lose the game, it’s not why we lost the game. You’re going to get more opportunities and get more wide-open layups, just knock down the next one.”

Hayward, who admittedly still suffers from occasional nerve pain in his surgically repaired left ankle, wasn’t about to blame the miss on hesitancy from his old injury.

“No. I just missed it. I mean, I just missed it,” he said. “I mean I should have just went up and dunked it. That was the mistake, was not dunking. But certainly I was caught halfway thinking about it. Should have just went up and dunked it.

“(Smart) was just like move on, it’s all good, stay with us. But in the moment, it’s hard to let that one go. We needed that bucket, for sure. We still had a chance there, but certainly needed that one.”

WHEN KEMBA WALKER calls the team doctor at night complaining of a sore knee, alarms go off.

Though Brad Stevens said he’s not under the impression that his scoring leader’s absence from last night’s lineup is a long term issue, he’s certainly not going to take chances.

“Kemba got ahold of our doctors last night and said he had some knee soreness – went and got an MRI today, didn’t show anything structurally wrong, but very sore, so he did not participate in shootaround,” said the Celtics coach.

Asked if he was worried about long-term trouble with Walker, Stevens said, “I haven’t talked to him enough to know. Once they ruled him out for tonight, had to think about how to get ready for tonight. I’m always concerned when someone’s not feeling right, but I don’t get the impression it’s a long-term thing.”

Two nights earlier, Walker scored 40 points during in a loss in Milwaukee, marking his second 40-plus night as a Celtic. Coupled with Jaylen Brown missing his second straight game because of a sprained right thumb, the Celtics went into their game against Phoenix with a noted drain on their scoring power.

“We’ve played a few games without (Walker), three earlier this month, so we’ll just have to have other guys step up and do so by committee,” said Stevens. “Nobody’s going to get 40 by themselves. We have to replace him as a group.”

Grant Williams made the second start of his career as a result of the Walker and Brown absences.

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