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Kyrie Irving out, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward doubtful as Celtics attempt to extend winning streak vs. Pelicans

Josue Pavon
December 10, 2018 - 4:01 pm

The Celtics will likely be missing their three highest-paid players when they host the Pelicans on Monday night with a five-game winning streak on the line.

Point guard Kyrie Irving will sit with a sore shoulder, while Al Horford (left knee) and Gordon Hayward (illness) are each doubtful.

Add big man Aron Baynes, who is expected to be sidelined for an extended period with an ankle injury, and the Celtics may only have 10 healthy players on Monday.

Baynes and Horford missed Saturday's 56-point blowout of the Bulls. Irving was injured after taking a blow to the shoulder in Thursday's win over the Knicks. Hawyard is under the weather and will probably be out.

Guerschon Yabusele, who suffered a right ankle sprain in the late minutes of Saturday night's win, will also sit and is expected to be out for while, according to head coach Brad Stevens.

With Hayward and Horford doubtful, this is a big blow for a team taking on All-Star big man Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. For starters, Boston will have to defend Davis without two of its best defensive big men and if Hayward can't give it a go, it leaves Stevens with an thin 10-man roster that rounds out with Brad Wanamaker and two-way player PJ Dozier.

As expected, rookie Robert Williams III has been summoned from the G-League to help the very thin frontcourt. Look for him to see big minutes for defensive purposes. He has played a total of 34 minutes in nine games, but is averaging nearly one block per (0.7) game.

The Celtics will have to abide by the New England Patriots' "next man up" mantra in hopes to keep their winning streak alive.

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