Even Jaylen Brown Was Surprised By His Monster Game In Celtics’ Opener

Brown set a new career high in points Wednesday night


October 21, 2021

No one would have criticized Jaylen Brown if he was a relative non-factor Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Brown was a day removed from his week-plus quarantine period when the Celtics opened their 2021-22 regular season against the New York Knicks. In addition to missing valuable team-building time, Brown potentially was going to be subject to diminished stamina and cardiovascular health due to his bout with COVID-19.

But Brown didn’t just overcome adversity in primetime. He had a career night.

The sixth-year pro dropped a career-high 46 points in the Celtics’ double-overtime loss to the Knicks. Brown, who set a new franchise record for most points in a season opener, led his team in minutes (45:57) and nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds to go along with six assists.

Brown never has lacked confidence since arriving to the NBA in 2016. But even he was a bit taken aback by what he did at MSG.

“I don’t know how I did it,” Brown told reporters, per Celtics.com. “I spent a lot of time in quarantine, thinking about when I was going to get back out there, just imagining, seeing the game, visualizing. And some shots fell tonight. I only had 24 hours to prepare. My breathing felt irregular but fine for the most part. Towards the end, I could feel my heartbeat through my chest.”

Brown continued: “For the most part, I felt fine, to be honest. Coming out of quarantine, playing 46 minutes, I think I did OK in terms of just physical standing. Being away from the team that much that long, it’s always like a risk of injury coming back with the high-level intensity. The guys in New York are a physical team. But I think my body held up well.”

The 24-year-old and his team will enjoy an off day Thursday before playing their home opener. The C’s on Friday will welcome the Toronto Raptors to TD Garden.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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