The Boston Celtics carried their “angry” and “pissed” momentum heading to Game 2 after failing disappointingly in their series opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, hammering an enormous 121-87 victory on Wednesday night to split their Eastern Conference Semifinals saga.
As their offense suddenly clicked most especially in the third period with that sizzling multiple huge triples, defense considerably allowed the Celtics to part themselves away from the 76ers in a wide margin, and Jaylen Brown undeniably played a major role on both ends of the floor.
The All-Star swingman powered the Celtics with his 24-point output in a 9-of-17 shooting. He also went on to boldy assume the main responsibility of containing James Harden – which turned out to be successful on his part.
He believes that while he completed a good assignment of guarding the former league MVP on Wednesday night, it is too early to overreact yet as he urges his team to step up their game as they move forward.
“It’s a long series. The first game, he had it rolling. But you know, just embracing the challenge and coming out, setting the tone on defense is going to be the key,” Brown said of defending Harden. “We are going to [need] each and every guy on our team to embrace those challenges.
“It’s a long series so we just got to be ready for the next one.”
After erupting for 45 points to lead the Joel Embiid-less 76ers in a close Game 1 win, Harden struggled from the field for the second game and just tallied 12 points in 2-of-14 shooting. He also bricked all of his six three-pointers and was completely neutralized by Boston’s defense with Brown in front of the pressuring charge.
As they are now heading to Philadelphia for the continuation of their marquee matchup with the Sixers, Brown can only get thrilled on the upcoming challenge that will be presented by their fellow title contenders with Game 3 set on Friday.
“Get ready. Tough environment. We know going into Philly. Hostile environment, but those are, it should be fun,” Brown said about the series now shifting to Philly. “I think we all should be excited to embrace that challenge. You got to be worthy of what you want to do and these are the moments and tests that you got to persevere through.
“All of these challenges, you can’t run from it. You can’t hide. You just gotta accept it, head on and come out play Celtics basketball.”