Monday, March 27, 2023

Celtics 137, Spurs 93: Jaylen Brown notches 41 points in C's third straight victory

The Celtics cruised past the San Antonio Spurs 137-93 Sunday night at TD Garden to win their third straight.

Jaylen Brown finished with a game-high 41 points on 18-of-29 shooting, to go along with 13 rebounds, as the C's were without Jayson Tatum (left hip contusion).
"When you get the opportunity to be the guy that everybody's kind of leaning on, it's a privilege, it's an honor," Brown said in his postgame presser. "I don't take those moments for granted. Every night, I strap my shoes up and I get my guys ready to go."
Malcolm Brogdon returned from being out against the Indiana Pacers, to record 20 points, nine assists off the bench and Derrick White added 19 points, eight rebounds as a starter to help Boston improve to 52-23 and a 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks (53-21) for the best record in the East and NBA.

Zach Collins led the Spurs with 21 points, seven rebounds, while Malaki Branham had 15 points and Sandro Mamukelashvili chipped in 13 points off the bench -- as San Antonio has lost their last four on the road and are now 19-56 on the season.

Brown scored 13 of his 26 first-half points in the opening quarter -- plus a monstrous dunk that even brought Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce (who was also in attendance) to his feet -- putting Celtics ahead 68-58 at the break, before adding another 10 in the third.

Marcus Smart (13 points) picked up a technical foul early in the quarter before getting hit with another one late in the period that led to an ejection.  

Meanwhile, Boston took a  96-77 advantage into the final frame and pushed the lead to as many as 47 points, while Brown exited the game with 6:34 left to a standing ovation and him waving to the Garden faithful.
"I think he's just making the right read," Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said of Brown's offense. "Because he's worked at his shot selection, he's worked at his attack and he's worked at getting points in transition, the defense opens up for him."
The Celtics, who forced 10 turnovers and converted them into 29 fast-break points, will head out on the road to face the Washington Wizards (33-42) Tuesday night. 

Game Notes:

Boston hit 57.1% from the field, including 18-of-44 (40.9%) from 3-point range, while the Spurs were held to 37.1% from the floor and 8-of-36 (22.2%) from behind the arc. The Celtics out-rebounded San Antonio 61-38 and outscored them in the paint 62-46. The C's had 29 assists (15 turnovers) on 52 baskets, while the visiting team dished out 22 dimes on 36 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of USA Today

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