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Horford doubtful for Game 2 vs. Heat due to protocols, Smart probable

Boston Globe / Getty

Boston Celtics big man Al Horford is doubtful to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat due to health and safety protocols.

However, Celtics guard Marcus Smart is probable following his absence in Game 1 with a midfoot sprain.

Boston doesn't expect Horford to be cleared in time for Thursday's clash, sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. He was placed in protocols shortly prior to Game 1 and was ruled out for the series opener.

Smart is hoping to make his series debut Thursday, but the Defensive Player of the Year's status hinges on how treatment affects his foot prior to Game 2, according to Haynes.

Without two of their most impactful defenders, the Celtics fell short against Miami in Game 1. Boston took an eight-point lead into halftime but surrendered a 22-2 run to open the third quarter. Though that was the only quarter the Celtics failed to outscore the Heat, they never regained the lead en route to a 118-107 loss.

"We just gotta be even more disciplined," Celtics star Jaylen Brown said, per NBC Sports. "Obviously, we (weren't) prepared to be without Al, and we definitely (weren't) prepared to be without Al and Smart. It's not an excuse, we gotta be better."

Boston rebounded from a series-opening loss in the conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks, answering a 101-89 loss with a 109-86 win in Game 2.

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