Celtics guard Jaylen Brown got off to a roaring start in Sunday’s Game 2 matchup with the Golden State Warriors, before a controversial foul call would send him to the bench and mark a significant change in his level of play.
Brown scored 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting over the first eight minutes of the contest, but a second foul call on him before the end of the first quarter would force him to the bench, and seemingly throw him off rhythm. The call was controversial to fans in the moment, with Brown agreeing postgame.
“I was being aggressive to start the game, you know, feeling great. Then I got a call, I guess in the first half, that put me on the sideline,” Brown told reporters postgame. “I don’t feel like I touched Gary Payton, and I expressed that, but they called a foul on me and that sat me down. Can’t let that be the reason why in the second half I wasn’t able to be as effective, but it definitely changed the game with that phantom call.”
Whether it changes the game for either team or not — Golden State would only lead by two at halftime — it certainly changed things for Brown, who would go on to shoot just 1-for-11 from the field over the final three quarters.
The game wasn’t perfect for Boston, but there’s little doubt they believe the referees can shoulder some blame in their loss. Celtics coach Ime Udoka was vocal with his displeasure throughout the game, drawing a technical foul at one point.
Either way, the Celtics will have a chance to rebound from the loss on home court as they travel back to Boston for Game 3. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Wednesday at TD Garden.