BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown delivered the highlight of the night in Boston’s 117-87 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
Before the Celtics turned the game into a blowout in the second half, Brown provided a spark of energy with a posterizing jam. He made a strong drive to the hoop despite Orlando’s 7-footer Nikola Vucevic clogging the paint, soaring to the basket and flushing it down with authority. The tomahawk jam had Brown’s teammates on the bench in awe, eager to take the floor and celebrate with the 20-year-old.READ MORE: Richard Seymour's Full Patriots Hall Of Fame Induction Speech
C’s head coach Brad Stevens isn’t the kind of guy to overreact to anything, let alone a highlight dunk. But he admitted the slam provided his team with a little bit of a boost.
“I think that [Brown’s dunk was] just kind of an energy-raiser for everyone,” Stevens said, via ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “I don’t really care about the dunk stuff, right? But I think it does raise the energy level in the building, and it’s certainly like, ‘Wow, what an athlete,’ when he took off and threw that down. But it’s still worth two, and you gotta play the rest of the game.”
Brown downplayed the dunk as just one bucket. But it was the cherry on top of an overall solid game from the rookie, who scored 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench. He was one of the many contributors for Boston on a night they were without their leading scorer, guard Isaiah Thomas.READ MORE: COVID Outbreak Reported In New Hampshire's Largest Jail
“We just wanted to hold it down for Isaiah,” said Brown. “That’s a big piece missing from our team, so we had to come out, really share the ball and make an emphasis on playing the game the right way. And I think we did tonight.”
After struggling to see the floor in the final weeks of November, Brown is earning his minutes as of late. He’s seen at least 15 minutes of action in each of the last three contests, and is feeling more confident about his game as the season goes.
“I feel like my teammates are trusting me more and I’m getting more trust from the coaching staff,” said Brown. “I’m just coming out, trying to make plays, be in the right spots and just play some good basketball.”MORE NEWS: Maine Hikes Tolls To Recoup Revenue Lost During Pandemic