The Boston Celtics on Monday played their fourth game of the season — and their third overtime period.
Days after taking the New York Knicks to double overtime in the season opener, the Celtics needed an extra frame to best the Charlotte Hornets on the road. They came out on top this time, unlike against the Knicks, and head coach Ime Udoka found added value in the extra minutes.
“We don’t love these overtime games,” Udoka admitted postgame, speaking to reporters via Zoom. “It’s two in our first four games, and the extra minutes. It builds toughness mentally, as well as getting in shape and playing through these … It builds character, it builds the team.”
The Celtics have felt the effects of the extra time on the floor, however. Jaylen Brown was held out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets with knee tendinopathy, and Udoka told reporters he believed that game against the Knicks attributed to his injury.
Brown, however, was more blunt in speaking to reporters after Monday’ win.
“It’s fine,” Brown said of the knee, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “These overtime games are killing me.”
After the first back-to-back of the season, the Celtics will have a day to get back on track and travel back to Boston, where they will face the Washington Wizards on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.