It was Jaylen Brown who emerged as the hot hand in the Boston Celtics’ 126–107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Brown, whose previous career high in points was 34, netted 42 points in just 29 minutes of play on 15-21 shooting from the field and 7-10 from three-point range (ties a career-high). He added five rebounds and four assists.
After going down early 4–1, the Celtics never looked back, gaining and maintaining the lead for the rest of the game. It was Brown and Jayson Tatum who were carrying the team offensively, in the first half, as Brown went 6–8 from three-point range and Tatum went 3-4 from behind the arc for a combined 40 of the Celtics’ 66 points. Their combined score matched the total score for the Grizzlies in the first half.
Despite just a 19-point win, the Celtics were up by as many as 32 points.
Brown’s dominant first half made it obvious he would record a new career high in points scored in the third quarter if his shooting stayed hot. He added one more three-pointer and five more field goals, along with shooting 5-6 from the foul line in the third quarter.
Offensively, the Celtics were firing on all cylinders, with Tatum adding 16 points on 3-5 from three-point range and shooting 50% from the field. Marcus Smart netted 14 points including four three-pointers. As a team, Boston finished with a 53.8% field goal percentage and 41% three-point percentage, while holding the Grizzlies to 43% from the field and just 27.3% from three-point range.
Aside from Daniel Theis (-2), all the Celtics starters finished with a positive plus/minus, with Tatum having the highest (29). Robert Williams III, who played just under 23 minutes, finished the night with six points, 10 rebounds, and a 28 plus/minus. Rookie Payton Pritchard finished with eight points on 4-6 shooting from the field.
The game was relatively easy compared to the Celtics’ previous matchups this season, with Grizzlies stars Jaren Jackson Jr. and 2020 Rookie of the Year Ja Morant both out with injuries. Still, the Celtics needed this game after coming off a tough four-game stretch against the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and two straight against the Indiana Pacers, all top contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Boston (3-2) will head to Detroit to face the Pistons (0-4) two times in three days on Friday and Sunday.
(Photo: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)