Jaylen Brown drives and scores in the paint over Rudy Gobert of Minnesota

Keys to the Game: Celtics 104, Timberwolves 102

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Grant Williams came up clutch in the most surprising of ways Wednesday night in Minnesota.

The versatile, 6-foot-6 big man won the game for Boston by beating 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert in a jump ball with 3.1 seconds left. And he did so in unconventional (and maybe a bit illegal) fashion.

Williams didn’t out-leap the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Instead, Williams out-smarted him by tipping the ball early and as it was still on its way up from the referee’s hands.

That’s not legal, but hey - no whistle, no foul.

Williams tipped the ball out to the right corner of the court and Jayson Tatum gained possession before the Timberwolves fouled him and sent him to the line for two free throws. Tatum connected on both shots with 1.7 seconds left, ostensibly sealing the game for Boston.

The Celtics survived not only because of Williams’ heads-up play, but also because of what preceded that jump ball. He hauled in a critical offensive rebound with 7.1 seconds left to prevent Minnesota from having a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds.

While Jaylen Brown carried Boston all night, it was Williams who saved the game for the C’s.

Key Player

For the second time in as many games, Jaylen Brown carried the Boston Celtics’ offense.

Brown scored 35 Wednesday night in Minnesota, marking the second time in as many games during which he reached that number. He just scored 43 Monday night in Houston.

The two-time All-Star shot 12-for-24 from the field, 5-for-8 from long distance, and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line. While Brown shot 50 percent from the field, the rest of his teammates combined to shoot just 36.7 percent.

Coupled with Brown’s scoring were 10 rebounds, which secured his 11th double-double of the season. He has now grabbed double-figure rebounds during four of his last 12 games.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown led the game with 35 points.
  • Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 28 points.
  • Boston won despite shooting just 40.5 percent from the field.
  • The Celtics made two more free throws (24) than Minnesota attempted (22).
  • Both teams made 12 shots from long distance.
  • Three Timberwolves players scored 15 points.
  • Malcolm Brogdon scored 12 points off of Boston's bench.
  • Jayson Tatum led the game with 12 rebounds and also scored 22 points.
  • Al Horford and Derrick White each blocked two shots.
  • Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert grabbed just six rebounds and did not block a shot.
  • Horford and Marcus Smart tied for the team high in assists with five apiece.
  • White led the game with a plus-11 mark in the plus/minus category.

Quote of the Night

"We just stayed the course. I think defensively tonight we won the game. Keeping them under 100 points, I think that was the key."

- Jaylen Brown on what led to Boston's win over the Timberwolves