Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets checks on teammate DeMarre...

Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets checks on teammate DeMarre Carroll after an injury at the buzzer against the Celtics at Barclays Center on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Despite the pain of a sore right rib cage, DeMarre Carroll told Nets coach Kenny Atkinson he was good to go against the Celtics on Saturday at Barclays Center. But at the end of an outstanding 10-point, seven-rebound performance, he suffered what might be a worse injury.

Carroll was diagnosed with a left knee injury, and Nets officials said he is scheduled to undergo further examination on Sunday before another update on his condition is available. He had a history of knee problems the past two seasons in Toronto.

Asked how the Nets might cope with the loss of Carroll and his veteran leadership for an extended period, forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson just grimaced and said, “Next man up.”

That’s a mantra that has become all too familiar for the Nets this season.

LeVert out again

Backup point guard Caris LeVert missed his second straight game with a left groin strain. Atkinson described that decision as a precaution, said the injury “is not anything bad” and said he expects LeVert to be available Monday against Toronto at Barclays Center.

LeVert’s absence has meant more playing time for starting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, and Atkinson said Nik Stauskas has been the “de facto” backup point guard when the Nets need to run a set play. “Nik, if we run a scripted pick-and-roll or something that is a set, he knows where to be and knows how to play that spot,” he said. “We’ve been pleased with his play. He’s a versatile guy. That’s why we were interested in obtaining him.”

Stevens enjoys Nets

Celtics coach Brad Stevens enjoys watching the Nets’ entertaining style. “It’s a testament to who they are now that you lose Jeremy Lin in the first game of the season and D’Angelo Russell has been out, and they just have a wave of guys that play the right way and play the way they want to play,” Stevens said. “They’re a hard team to play against.”

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