Brown’s 31 Points Lead Celtics Thrilling Win Over Raptors

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Jaylen Brown marked his return to the Boston Celtics with a commanding 31-point performance, including a pivotal assist to Luke Kornet for the game-deciding dunk, leading the Celtics to a narrow 120-118 victory over the Toronto Raptors during Friday’s NBA action.

In a dramatic finish, the game was tied at 116 following a three-pointer from Toronto’s Scottie Barnes with 47 seconds left. Kornet’s dunk, fed by Brown, put Boston ahead. The Celtics narrowly maintained their lead despite a late push by the Raptors. Pascal Siakam of Toronto had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line with 1.4 seconds remaining but missed the second shot after making the first, as per the strategy outlined by Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic.

“The goal was to make the first and miss the second and go for the offensive rebound and try to win it right there,” Rajakovic said.

Brown, who had sat out Boston’s previous game due to a back injury, demonstrated his shooting prowess with a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, also collecting 10 rebounds. Brown downplayed the significance of his back injury, which he sustained during a Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I definitely feel that I’ve grown and improved, for sure, but (in terms of the game) slowing down for me? Maybe that’s not the right word. I want to play fast,” Brown said.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics Updates

Derrick White and Kornet significantly contributed to the Celtics’ win with 21 and 20 points, respectively, despite the team’s 16 turnovers, which Toronto converted into 22 points. The Celtics, playing without starters Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis, as well as key reserve Al Horford, extended their impressive home record to 16-0 and solidified their status as the team with the best record in the league (25-6). Boston has now won five consecutive games and 10 of their last 11.

“It’s the NBA. Each night is different with different guys in the lineup,” White said. “The more ways we can find to win, the better it will make us in the long run.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics Updates

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla praised the character and resilience of his team, highlighting Kornet’s significant role in his first game since December 4 and the start of the season.

“I said to the locker room before the game that it was another opportunity,” Mazzulla said. “I didn’t care who we were playing against. I have complete trust and confidence in the character of our locker room because of who they are. I think we can win any game, no matter what. Luke shows up every game and plays his role. It was awesome to watch him play at the level that he did.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics Updates

Boston had a comfortable 15-point lead at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead entering the final quarter. However, a 3-pointer from Dennis Schroder gave Toronto its first lead since the opening quarter. Barnes led the Raptors with 30 points, and Siakam added 28, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Celtics, who have won all three season matchups against Toronto.

Looking forward, the Raptors will face the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night, concluding their three-game road trip, while the Celtics are set to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

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