Monday, January 30, 2023

Jaylen Brown redeems himself with 37-point performance in overtime win vs. Lakers

Jaylen Brown finished with 37 points and nine rebounds in the Celtics 125-121 overtime win over the longtime rival Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night.

The veteran wing redeemed himself after missing two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, while trailing by one to the New York Knicks two days prior -- which resulted in a 120-117 loss in OT.
"It's funny how life works, just one game later," said Brown following the win over the Lakers. "I knew I would get that opportunity again, but I didn't know it was going to be the very next game. You step up to the line, you trust yourself, and you do what you gotta do."
Brown, who scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime -- including a 3-point play to force the game into an extra five minutes -- not only led the C's to victory but also helped snap a three-game skid.
"You don't let one game define you. You don't let one moment define you. Life is about how you respond. I look at it as a challenge," said Brown. "You learn to appreciate those moments because they spark something in you to be more focused, more locked in and you have to trust and believe in yourself even more."
After sitting out four of the last eight games over the past two weeks with a right adductor strain, Brown's been shaking off some rust, as he bounced back nicely from a 8-of-22 shooting performance against the Knicks and went 13-of-23 from the field against the Lakers.

So what was going through Brown's mind Saturday night when he stepped to the charity stripe and with the game on the line once again?
"Nothing, to be honest. It was clear as day. Locked in. Focused on winning. There was no doubt in my mind," Brown responded -- as he finished 9-of-11 from the free throw line.
Interim coach Joe Mazzulla was also proud of Brown's play, as the two-guard scored or assisted on 25 of the Celtics final 44 points to beat the Lakers.
"His resiliency to continue and not allow the circumstances to affect his judgment, mindset and his execution -- I thought he was tremendous," Mazzulla said during his postgame presser. "I'm just happy for him. The league gives you opportunities to constantly bounce back and he's really got a great mindset."
Despite Brown tying the game, the officials missed a foul call on a LeBron James drive to the hoop in the final seconds of regulation, which has since caused plenty of controversy around the league.
"The officiating was a little up and down. They let us play through stuff and then they called it tight. so we had to keep adjusting to it, but at the end of the day, the players decided that game," Brown said after picking up his fifth foul to start the fourth quarter, before checking back in with just seven minutes remaining.

"We made plays down the stretch. They made plays down the stretch. I thought it was a good game. It was probably one of the greater games in our recent Lakers-Celtics matchup and I'm happy we came up on top."
Brown and the Celtics will host the Brooklyn Nets (31-19) Wednesday night at TD Garden, as ESPN has the tip-off at 7:30 ET.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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