Frustrations ran high during the Boston Celtics’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday evening, but one of the more intense moments happened courtside.
After being heckled by a young fan during the game, Chris Paul decided to get the last word. According to NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin, CP3 called the yelling fan “privileged.” He later came back to introduce himself, shook the fan’s hand and demanded he “put some respect” on his name.
Paul ended the night with 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Despite Boston putting up an 18-point lead in the first half, Paul’s Thunder climbed back and notched a 105-104 victory following a failed game-winning shot attempt by All-Star forward Jayson Tatum, who was being guarded by CP3.
Celtics Continue to Slide
Boston has now lost five of its last 10 games, including two in a row to the Thunder and Utah Jazz. The team’s shorthanded victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers last Wednesday is one of the few bright spots in what has been a frustrating stretch of games.
One flaw this year’s team has had is its inability to play complete games. Sunday’s game marked the fourth time in the last week that the Celtics gave up a double-digit lead. Though they were once in a tight race for the No. 2 seed, Boston is now three full games behind the Toronto Raptors.
“I’ve lived this before with most of our good teams go through stretches like this and usually two or three a year,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “This is our second one. Hopefully we can nip that in the bud and not have a third one.”
Where is Jaylen Brown?
It feels like forever since Boston has played with a fully healthy roster. Though Gordon Hayward is back from a knee injury he suffered during the Nets loss last Tuesday and Kemba Walker is on minutes restriction, the team is still without starting forward Jaylen Brown.
Brown suffered a hamstring injury against Brooklyn and has been battling a series of different injuries recently, including a calf injury and an ankle sprain.
In the 50 games he has played so far this season, Brown is averaging 20.4 points—behind only Tatum (23.4) and Kemba Walker (21.4)—on 49-percent field goal shooting. With some of Boston’s recent close losses, it’s clear that Brown’s production is greatly missed.
If the initial one-week recovery timeline is still in tact, Brown should be returning this week, either against Indiana or the conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks.