Celtics Notes: Jaylen Brown Shoots Lights Out; Boston Tops NBA Standings

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Jaylen Brown

One of the knocks on Jaylen Brown, when the Boston Celtics drafted him No. 3 overall in 2016, was he couldn’t shoot from the outside.

After improving a bit from 3-point range as a rookie, Brown has taken noticeable steps to becoming a consistent long-range threat in his second pro season.

Brown hit a career-high five 3-pointers on six attempts in Boston’s 113-86 win over the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden on Wednesday night. He finished with 22 points on 7-for-8 shooting with six rebounds and didn’t play in the fourth quarter as the C’s protected a 20-plus point lead.

Brown needs to be a more efficient shooter. He shot a combined 3-for-17 in recent road wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. But Wednesday’s performance was a step in the right direction as Brown’s 22 points came on just eight shots.

The Celtics need Brown to be a consistent scorer with Gordon Hayward lost for the season. Hayward averaged 21.9 points per game last season for the Utah Jazz, and he was expected to be the No. 2 scoring option behind Kyrie Irving entering the campaign.

Brown, at least so far, has shown he can handle an increased load offensively in place of Hayward. His 16.3 points per game through eight contests are more than 2.5 times his scoring average from his rookie year. He’s also shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc, compared to 33 percent as a rookie.

Brown’s development has been impressive, and if he’s able to be a little more consistent with his outside shot, the Celtics could be much more dangerous come playoff time than many believed when Hayward went down.

Here are more notes from Celtics-Kings.

— The Celtics’ 6-2 record is tied with the Orland Magic for the best mark in the league.

— One of the main areas of improvement for the C’s has been on the boards. They rank eighth in the league with 46.2 rebounds per game, and they out-rebounded the Kings 52-26 on Wednesday night. Boston ranked 27th in rebounding last season.

The Celtics also sit fourth in the league in defensive rebound percentage (80.9) and sixth in overall rebound percentage (51.8).

— The Celtics have won 15 of last their 20 games versus the Kings. Boston’s six-game win streak is the longest active streak in the NBA. Here’s where it ranks in the Brad Stevens era.

Boston also has held opponents to less than 100 points in six straight games, which is the longest such streak during Stevens’ tenure.

— Irving had four steals against the Kings, pushing his season total to a league-leading 21. Steals aren’t the greatest measure of defensive performance, but there’s no question Irving’s defense has been better than expected.

— Daniel Theis has been a very good offseason addition by C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. The 25-year-old forward notched his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds versus the Kings.

— Boston’s bench scored 46 points, led by Terry Rozier (12 points), Semi Ojeleye (career-high 11 points) and Theis (10 points).

— Celtics forward Marcus Morris, who was acquired in the Avery Bradley trade with the Detroit Pistons, should make his season debut fairly soon.

— The Cleveland Cavaliers lost 124-107 at home to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night despite 33 points from LeBron James.

— Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy made his Celtics debut on this day (Nov. 1) in 1950.

Watch Jaylen Brown dunk on Kings center >>

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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