Monday, April 8, 2024

Celtics 124, Trail Blazers 107: Jaylen Brown reaches 10,000 career points in C's fifth consecutive win

The Celtics took care of the Portland Trail Blazers 124-107 Sunday night at TD Garden to win their fifth straight and improve to 62-16 with four games left in the regular season.

Jaylen Brown finished with 26 points on 10-of-17 from the field to reach 10,000 career points in the C's 13th consecutive home victory without Jayson Tatum (right knee contusion) in the lineup.
"The type of guy that he is, the hard work that he puts in and the growth that he's shown this year to become a complete player at both ends of the floor, I know he's happy about that," coach Joe Mazzulla said of Brown's achievement. "It's cool to be able to coach guys that get to those type of milestones and be a part of that."
Payton Pritchard added 20 points (9-of-13), eight assists, while Derrick White recorded 15 points, nine assists and Kristaps Porzingis chipped in another double-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds for Boston, who are now 35-3 on their parquet.

Former Celtic guard Dalano Banton led the Trail Blazers with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-23 from the floor to go along with nine assists off the bench. DeAndre Ayton notched 22 points, 14 rebounds and Jabari Walker had 14 points, 18 rebounds for Portland -- that dropped to 21-57.

Boston was ahead 63-56 at the break, before Brown drove for a left-handed scoop layup in the opening minutes of the second half to clinch 10,000 points, as part of an 11-5 spurt.

On the next timeout following the milestone bucket, Brown got a standing ovation from the Garden faithful when it was announced to the crowd of the accomplishment -- to which the All-Star wing waved and smile while walking back onto the court to resume play.
"It was great, especially all of the supporters who have supported me from Day One," Brown said in his postgame comments of the ovation. "Obviously, things have been up-and-down throughout the early stages of my career and I've been able to get different opportunities, been able to improve, but also been able to gain more responsibility. For the JB fans who stayed in my corner from Day One, I feel that love."
The Trail Blazers hung around the rest of the third quarter to only trail 93-85 heading into the final frame, behind eight points from Scoot Henderson (15 points) and six from Banton.

Mazzulla pulled his starters to begin the fourth period, as Pritchard made it a double-digit deficit for Portland on a 13-foot pull-up jumper to follow it up with another pull up make to spark a 19-9 run, that concluded with back-to-back made 3-pointers by Sam Hauser (10 points) and Xavier Tillman (nine points) with 4:14 left to play.

Earlier in the affair, Boston also welcomed back former fan favorite Robert Williams and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, who both were making their first return the Garden since being moved over the off-season -- despite neither of them playing in the contest, they each got on the jumbo-tron with Williams having his "Time Lord" nickname being displayed to a loud applause.

The Celtics will head to Milwaukee Tuesday for one last match-up with the Bucks (47-31) before the postseason. TNT has the tip-off at 7:30 pm ET.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 56.3% of their attempts, including 16-of-38 (42.1%) from deep, while the Trail Blazers were held to 39.2% from the floor, but connected on 14-of-38 (36.8%) from 3-point range. The C's were out-rebounded 53-40 despite winning the points in the paint battle 56-44. The Celtics dished out 34 assists (13 turnovers) on 49 baskets to Portland's 26 dimes (15 turnovers) on 40 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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