It took the Celtics more than a quarter to find their way Wednesday night following consecutive days without a game. When they finally hit their stride, though, they were pretty much unstoppable.
Boston strung together a 42-15 run that started midway through the second quarter and ended midway through the fourth quarter. The run turned an 11-point deficit at the 7:09 mark of the second period into a 16-point advantage at the 6:31 mark of the third quarter.
The lead remained in double-digits for nearly the entirety of the remainder of the game before Boston closed out a 112-93 victory.
The key to the run was simple: ball movement. The C’s began to play offense as a team, rather than as individuals, and that led to them running circles around Miami’s defense. Of the 13 baskets scored by Boston during its extended run, 10 of them were assisted, which goes to show just how elite the team’s ball movement was. Kemba Walker totaled five of those 10 assists, while Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis dished out two apiece, and Brad Wanamaker tallied one.
Six of Boston’s 16 3-pointers on the night were canned during the lengthy spurt, including two apiece from Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Brown scored nine of his team’s final 12 points of the run to push the C’s toward their fourth win in their last five games.
Wednesday night’s 31-point outburst has pushed Jaylen Brown to the brink of the 20-point scorer category with a quarter of Boston’s season in the rearview mirror. Brown is now averaging 19.94 points per game on the season.
Brown’s 31 points set a new season high in scoring and fell just one point shy of matching his career high, which was set April 4, 2018 against Chicago. Brown made 10 of his 20 shot attempts and five of his nine 3-pointers. He also shot 6-for-8 from the free-throw line.
In addition to his scoring, Brown also plugged four rebounds, one assist and a steal into the box score.
Brown was so good during this game that Brad Stevens chose to leave him on the court for a team-high 34-plus minutes of action. It marked the sixth instance this season in which Brown has led the team in minutes played, which ranks second on the team behind Jayson Tatum’s seven occasions.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jaylen Brown (31 points), Kemba Walker (28 points) and Jayson Tatum (19 points) combined to score 78 points, which fell just 15 points shy of Miami's team total.
- Outside of Brown, Walker and Tatum, no other member of the Celtics scored in double-figures.
- Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 37 points during Miami's loss.
- Boston outscored Miami by 21 points during Semi Ojeleye's nearly 25 minutes of action.
- Rob Williams grabbed a game-high 10 rebbounds.
- Walker dished out a game-high seven assists.
- The teams shot nearly identical percentages from the field: 43.8 percent for Boston, and 43.6 percent for Miami.
- Boston made 15 more free throws (26) than Miami (11).
- Every Miami player who appeared in the game finished with a negative plus/minus rating.
- Tatum finished with the game's best plus/minus rating, at plus-31.
- Tatum and Daniel Theis blocked three shots apiece, while Miami's entire team combined to block four.
- Kelly Olynyk led all reserves with 12 points off the bench for the Heat.
Quote of the Night
When Jaylen gets going I think he’s the X-factor for us. When he has it going he definitely gives us a lot more options — and he’s been playing well all year.
Kemba Walker on Jaylen Brown