Brown Sets Astonishing NBA Record While Leading C's Past Cavs
On Friday night in Philadelphia, Jaylen Brown tied his career-high in scoring with 42 points. On Sunday night back home in Boston, he did something even more impressive.
While facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden, the third-year wing scored 33 points while spending only 19 minutes and 14 seconds on the court. In doing so, he became the first player in NBA history to score more than 30 points while playing fewer than 20 minutes, surpassing Kevin Durant’s record of 30 points in 19 minutes set on Dec. 18, 2014.
“That’s crazy,” Brown told Celtics.com after the game when reflecting upon the accomplishment. “I don’t even know what to say about that. I just wanted to win.”
And win they did. Led by Brown’s scoring eruption, the Celtics dismantled the top-ranked defense in the Eastern Conference with a 141-103 blowout on their home court.
For Brown, it marked his seventh straight 20-point effort and his 13th in 15 games this season. And he was as efficient as ever, knocking down 13-of-20 from the field, 3-of-4 from long range, and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
“He’s in a great rhythm scoring,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He’s making great physical drives, he’s making open catch-and-shoot shots also with really tough shots sprinkled in. He’s constantly working to improve, he doesn’t play passive, and his skill, his aggressiveness, and his improvement are a great combination.”
Brown’s improvement has been continuous throughout the early part of this season, as he seems to get better game after game. Even aft
er going a week without playing after being placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocols in mid-January, Brown didn't skip a beat. In his last five games since clearing the protocols, he has averaged 29.4 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting from the field and 44.4 percent shooting from three.
"He's been amazing scoring the ball. He really has,” Stevens said of Brown’s play over the past week and a half. “It looked like there that we'd be missing all those guys for a few games, but he came back off of the health and safety protocol week and has been really, really good. Just a guy that we can go to every which way and sometimes the action can be defended well, and he can still make a play and get a basket. He's just constantly improved and he has never lost his aggressiveness.”
As the only teammate who has been around Brown for the past five seasons, Marcus Smart says it’s been incredible to watch the young wing grow. Specifically, Smart is impressed with how much more patient and poised Brown is with the ball in his hands now compared to earlier on in his career.
“His rookie year and year two, that Jaylen Brown would just put his head down and go and not understand where he was going,” said Smart, who logged 12 points and game-highs of nine assists and five steals. “But he worked hard, you’ve gotta give him credit. And it shows. That’s why he’s one of the best young players in this game and doing what he’s doing, and doing what he’s doing for this team. So I’m just very, very proud of the way that he approaches every game, and you can see it’s working out for him.”
Not only is it working out for Brown, but it’s working out for the entire team in the way he’s been leading them. Such was the case yet again Sunday night, as he penned his name in the NBA history books while leading the Celtics to their largest win of the season.