BOSTON (CBS) — Jaylen Brown only played 19 minutes in Game 7 against the Wizards, but they were certainly impactful minutes. The Celtics rookie stepped up big in his limited time on the floor in the Celtics’ 115-105 win to land a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs.
Brown finished with nine points (3-for-5 shooting) to go with three rebounds and a steal. He was a plus-8 on the night and did not commit a turnover.
The 20-year-old played a key role in the Celtics’ big run late in the third quarter, tying the game at 72 with this deft finish at the rim off a nice pass from fellow bench hero Marcus Smart:
He also showed great hustle on this rebound in the third quarter with the Celtics down two, snatching the ball from his backside after he tumbled to the floor:
Brown is greatly appreciative of the experience he’s gotten in his first playoff, making the most of his limited minutes – which he’s continually battled to earn all season.
“The more experience you get, the better you get, the more comfortable you get, etc.,” Brown told reporters after the game. “Just being in the role that I’ve been, I’m just trying to take advantage of it, and I think I have.
“Every minute I got this year, I had to fight for. [Head coach] Brad [Stevens] didn’t give anything to me, the organization didn’t give anything to me, and I appreciate them for that. I’ll keep fighting. I’m still fighting. I wouldn’t pick it any other way.”
The rookie didn’t need much time to make his presence felt in Game 7. It will be interesting to see if his impactful play leads to more minutes in the Conference Finals.