Jaylen Brown bails Celtics out in win over Trail Blazers


Things were not looking good for the Celtics.

After they built a 24-point lead, the Trail Blazers came roaring back to actually take a lead at one time, but thanks in large part to Jaylen Brown, the Celtics came away with a 128-124 win Sunday afternoon in Orlando.

Following a tough loss Friday to the Bucks, another loss Sunday when leading by more than 20 points would have been tough to swallow.

Brown took over the game in the fourth quarter where he scored 20 of his 30 points going 7-for-7 from the floor, including 5-for-5 from three-point range. Without a performance like that, who knows if the Celtics would have came away with a win.

“He’s got confidence, for sure,” Brad Stevens told reporters afterwards. “Jaylen was enormous tonight.” 

Here are a few more thoughts from the game.

Jayson Tatum bounces back in big way

After one of the worst performances of his career Friday, Tatum finished Sunday with a team-high 34 points, while also adding four rebounds and eight assists. Tatum didn't shy away from shooting after his miserable display Friday, as he went 11-for-22 from the floor. Tatum and Brown combined for exactly half of the Celtics' points, which shows the two can take over a game when needed. This was especially important Sunday with Kemba Walker still on a minutes restriction.

Change minutes for Kemba Walker?

Walker continues to be on a minutes restriction as his knee gets back to full strength. The All-Star was increased to 22 minutes, but was not on the floor when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter. Wouldn't it make sense to schedule his minutes around that and make sure he's playing in the fourth quarter? Stevens has stuck to his plan with Walker, but it's just worth wondering if it is worth tweaking to help the team in close games. Walker finished with 14 points in his limited action.

More minutes for Enes Kanter?

Kanter had a great game and was a major reason for the big first half lead. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in just under 20 minutes of action and was a plus-16. Meanwhile, in just under 28 minutes, Daniel Theis had nine points and two rebounds and was a minus-10 -- by far the worst on the team in the game. Kanter certainly is making a case for more minutes.