What a night for Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics swingman has looked stellar to start the 2020-21 season and he continued it Sunday night in Boston’s massive win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden.
Brown posted 33 points in just 19 minutes against the Cavs. That’s the most points scored by any player in under 20 minutes in NBA history.
This was just the second time Brown has scored 30-plus points in consecutive games in his NBA career, too, according to Celtics Stats.
Head coach Brad Stevens likes what he’s seen from Brown lately.
“He’s in a great rhythm scoring,” Stevens told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “He’s making great physical drives, obviously open catch-and-shoot shots, but then also really tough shots sprinkled in. So, I mean, he’s constantly working to improve. He doesn’t play passive. And I think his skill and his improvement and his aggressiveness are a good combination.
“… He’s been amazing scoring the ball. He really has,” Stevens added. “It looked like there we were going to be missing all of those guys for a few games. He came back off of the health-and-safety protocol week and he’s been really, really good — a guy that we can go to every which way and sometimes, the action can be defended well and he can still make a play and get a basket. He’s just, again, constantly improved and he has never lost his aggressiveness.”
Brown is looking more and more like an All-Star every game. He’s scored 25-plus points in the last four games (good for the longest streak of its kind in his NBA career, per Celtics Stats), during which he’s averaged 31.5 points 5.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Marcus Smart considers Brown as one of the best young players in the league.
“The way that he’s scoring, he’s patient with poise when he has the ball. … He worked hard on (his game) and you’ve got to give him credit. … That’s why he’s one of the best players, one of the best young players in this game. And doing what he’s doing, and doing what he’s doing for this team, to help this team be the best that it could be. I’m just very, very proud of him, proud of the way he approaches every game.”
Naturally, Brown remained his humble self following his performance.
“Obviously, I’m extremely grateful to be in that position, but I’m looking forward to the next one,” Brown said. “… I’m just grateful just to be playing in positions that have responsibility and have weight and things like that. I look forward to the challenge. I’m grateful that it’s finally gotten here, but just trying to do my best with what I’ve got.”
Here are some more notes from Sunday’s Cavs-Celtics game:
— It was quite the night for Celtics basketball.
Boston put up 73 first-half points, which was the most first-half points they’ve scored all season, per Celtics Stats.
And the C’s put up 41 points in the third quarter, which was the most they’ve scored in one frame this season.
— Boston owned a double-figure lead for much of Sunday’s game even flirting with 40-point leads throughout the second half.
So, what sparked this performance?
“We needed a win,” Brown said. “We lost three in a row — all good games, I thought that we could have definitely won. And today, being back on our home floor, we wanted to make sure that we came out and played with great energy, which we did.”
— Smart didn’t put up the points Brown did, but he looked solid, too.
The point guard collected five steals against the Cavs as the Celtics played solid defensively as a whole.
“It was at our standard, what we’ve been trying to do all year,” Smart said. “Proud of the way we started the game because, you know, we get out to some slow starts and it comes back to bite us a lot of the time. So, for us to come out tonight like we did on the defensive end was tremendous. I’m proud of those guys. Somebody even like Kemba (Walker), where he’s coming back off of an injury and trying to get his groove but he’s still sacrificing not only his body but himself and it’s time to do the right thing and really be the leader on this team.
“That’s what we’ve got to do every night. We understand some nights are going to be different than others, but really have to find that zone that we were at tonight and continue to go out there and play like that.”
— The C’s should regain a major piece of their roster Monday night.
Stevens expects Jayson Tatum will return to game action in Boston’s game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. Tip-off from the Windy City is slated for 9 p.m. ET.