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Avery Bradley hopes to return for Celtics Sunday

The soreness in Avery Bradley’s hip has decreased to the point where he believes he can play Sunday in Memphis.MICHAEL DWYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Celtics guard Avery Bradley missed his second consecutive game on Wednesday because of a bruised hip, but coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will join the team on its upcoming three-game trip and could return against the Grizzlies on Sunday in Memphis.

Bradley suffered the injury in the second quarter of the loss to the Nets last Saturday.

“It’s actually in a weird spot because it’s in a spot that hurts even more because of the amount of muscles you use on a daily basis,” Bradley said before the Celtics faced the Pistons on Wednesday night. “It just swelled up instantly. At the time I thought I was fine, until I went back into the game and Brad had to sub me out.”


Bradley said that for several days after suffering the injury he was in pain when he sat or lied down. That soreness has decreased, but it still hurts when he laughs or coughs. Stevens said Bradley has yet to test his hip by running. But since it is a bruise there isn’t really much danger of worsening the injury, so he is hopeful that he will be able to play on Sunday.

“It’s just a pain tolerance,” Bradley said. “I think I’ll be fine. I just need to make sure it’s padded up. I just need to worry about getting hit in that spot again. I feel like I can protect it good enough to the point where I can go out there and play and not think about it . . . I’m ready to be back on the floor. I’m sick of sitting on the sidelines.”

Evan Turner started for the second consecutive game in place of Bradley.

Back in Boston

Former Boston College standout Reggie Jackson is leading the Pistons in scoring and assists in his first full season with the club. After signing a five-year, $80 million deal in the offseason, he is feeling comfortable in his new home.


“I would like to [think of myself as an All-Star], but if I chase the things I continue to chase, chase the championship, the individual accolades come,” said Jackson, who entered Wednesday’s game averaging 19.7 points and 6.4 assists, and finished with 24 points and six assists in the 99-94 win over the Celtics. “If they don’t, they don’t. I’m just thinking about getting a win.”

Jackson, who played three seasons at BC, said the novelty of playing in Boston has worn off.

“I didn’t go out much in Boston,” he said. “The school is in Chestnut Hill. That’s where I was at most of the time. It’s fun to play here, not necessarily super special for me, besides seeing old teammates and friends, but besides that, just another game.”

Jackson said he has been impressed by the Celtics.

“Tough-minded, hard-nosed team that plays unselfish,” he said. “Isaiah [Thomas] is really the head of the snake . . . A really good team despite the fact that people say they lack a superstar. They’re a really good team, playing together and getting stops.”

Crowder admirer

Count Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy among those who has been impressed by Celtics forward Jae Crowder’s breakout season.

“Whether it was James Harden when he went to Houston or other guys, you put them in a bigger role, you give them more opportunity, they gain confidence and they get a chance to flourish, Van Gundy said. “And I think that’s what’s happened to Jae.”


Crowder entered Wednesday averaging career highs of 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds, and had 16 points and four boards against the Pistons. He was also shooting 35.2 percent from behind the 3-point line, then connected on 2 of 6 tries from beyond the arc.

“He’s in a perfect system where they really value him, give him a lot of opportunity,” Van Gundy said. “He’s shooting the three well. He attacks the basket. He’s another great defender, high-energy guy, and a great pickup.”

Cashing in?

Count Celtics forward David Lee among those who was chasing Wednesday night’s $500 million Powerball jackpot. Prior to the game, Lee held up $100 in tickets he had purchased. Lee, for what it’s worth, is the Celtics’ highest-paid player this season, making $15.5 million.

Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report.