Jalen Brown was feeling it after his decision to remove his mask turned out to be a key metamorphosis of his performance against the Atlanta Hawks on their Sunday Game 4 win.
The All-Star swingman opened up the match shooting an uncharacteristic 1-for-7 from the field. But upon taking off the black gear at the 9:02 mark of the second frame, he went off and rallied the Boston Celtics en route to 3-1 series lead, finishing with a team-high 31 points in 12-of-22 shooting.
“Maybe it was all in my head,” Brown said following their 129-121 dub, via MassLive’s Souichi Terada. “I just needed a different look. I just felt like to start the game I didn’t like the looks that I got so I just needed something to switch it up a little bit. And as soon as I took it off things started to turn around a little bit.”
Brown has been donning his black mask since this season’s All-Star Game after sustaining a facial injury in early February from an accidental hit by Jayson Tatum. At first, he opened up his hardships on the adjustments he make, but went on to get familiarized gradually with the extra protective equipment.
“I don’t know what it was,” Brown said. “I needed to change my shoes, wipe my hands off, take the mask off. Whatever I needed to do, I just needed to help my team get a win. And that’s what I was trying to do.”
Brown and the Celtics are sitting on the driver’s seat heading to Game 5 in Boston, as they will look to close it out against the Hawks on Tuesday.