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Celtics’ Ime Udoka Apologizes to Chauncey Billups Over Garbage Time

Two rookie head coaches had something to say.

Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz

The game had been over for a while.

The Boston Celtics were cruising to victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night and the benchwarmers checked in with about six minutes to go.

As part of the Celtics’ substitutions, second-year guard Payton Pritchard came back into the game. Pritchard, a Portland native and alumnus of West Linn High School and the University of Oregon, was playing in front of his hometown crowd for the first time in the NBA.

He had played in 13 minutes with only three points when he entered the game with 5:51 to play, but by game’s end, Pritchard totaled a season-high 19 points after scoring just 30 total points in 18 previous appearances this season.

Udoka told reporters that he apologized to Blazers coach Chauncey Billups following the game.

Whether Udoka, Pritchard and the Celtics broke the unwritten rule to play through the motions during garbage time, it had no real impact on the game. Maybe it was part of why Billups was so frustrated during his postgame press conference.

If anything, maybe Pritchard’s performance combined with the Blazers’ will help get this team closer to turning it around.