The Boston Celtics drubbed the Los Angeles Lakers as everyone chipped in to score, but most distinguishable from the group was Jaylen Brown, who L.A. simply had no answer for.
Brown dropped 40 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a steal while shooting an incredibly efficient 17-of-20 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. The 24-year-old wing’s plus/minus on the night was +36, and in a game that finished with an eight-point deficit, it speaks volumes to how potent he played.
The Lakers entered the game shorthanded, but they also found themselves undersized when it came to guarding Brown. Kyle Kuzma usually stuck on Jayson Tatum, while players like Wesley Matthews and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did their best but didn’t have the height and wingspan advantage.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel lauded Brown’s game and explained how the strategy to peg his production in the second half failed to work as they would’ve liked.
“First of all, credit to him,” Vogel said. “A remarkable performance, 17-for-20 from a guard is really a special performance. … In the second half, we were supposed to double-team him far more effectively than we did. We had several breakdowns. … We were late and ineffective, so disappointed in that part of the game, but credit to Brown for a great performance.”
Kuzma added to the Lakers’ inability to try to stick to the script and credited Brown for converting on contested jumpers.
“He made a lot of tough shots, made a lot of tough shots and for us, I don’t think we followed certain gameplan issues that we had with that,” Kuzma said. “So yeah, he had a great night.”
Lakers guard Dennis Schroder also ascribed praise to Brown and discussed how L.A. must improve for their next matchup against the Utah Jazz.
“He had a great game, congrats to him,” Schroder said. “He made a lot of shots, a lot of tough shots and I mean, it’s one of those nights. You just get back for that next one, Donovan Mitchell, next game is gonna be a lot of threes, we’ve got to take them off the 3-point line and move on. But Jaylen Brown, he’s a good player and we can’t get him off like that. It was his night.”
Vogel ‘super proud’ of Lakers’ late push against Brown, Celtics
The Celtics kept drilling threes while Los Angeles couldn’t muster any points, and garbage time arrived early in the fourth quarter. However, the Lakers’ reserves made an extraordinary comeback off the backs of Talen Horton-Tucker, Ben McLemore and Alfonzo McKinnie that saw Boston’s 27-point lead trim to five, forcing Brown and company to re-enter the game.
Though L.A. couldn’t pull off the Herculean effort, Vogel said he was ‘super proud’ of his squad’s hustle.
“Super proud of those guys’ effort and their play,” Vogel said.
“It’s a 48-minute game. It doesn’t matter what the score is or what the situation is, we play harder than our opponent. That was talked about in the timeout when we put those guys in that we want to win this stretch and those guys came out and competed their tails off. So I’m very, very proud of them. I wanted them to be able to get the W. At this point, we weren’t able to get over the hump, but that was awesome how they performed down the stretch.”
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