After an eight-game hiatus, Jaylen Brown returned to the Celtics‘ lineup on Monday, November 22nd to help Boston cruise past the Rockets with a 108-98 win. The game marked the C’s third consecutive victory and their eighth over the last 11 games. It also marked Brown’s first action since sustaining a hamstring injury exactly two weeks ago.
The reigning All-Star took some time to knock off the rust against Houston, but — as all great players do — he eventually found his stride. Brown went on a personal 10-point run over a 65-second span in the third quarter en route to a 19-point outing (6-for-13 shooting). Yet, despite his glimpses of brilliance, Brown wasn’t all too enthused with how his body faired in his abbreviated 23 minutes of play.
“It felt good to be back out there just being with my teammates and competing,” Brown told reporters postgame. “I didn’t feel my best out there. I felt good all the way going up into the game and had a little bit of tightness [at the start of the game]. But we’ll see how I feel [Tuesday] and keep building. I wasn’t super-happy with how my body felt. We’re working through it.”
Brown Hopes to Be Back to 100% Soon
Brown proceeded to revisit his prior run-ins with hamstring injuries and how this current one differs, noting “This is a little bit of a nagging injury. I’ve had a hamstring injury a few times now. This one seems to be lingering now a little bit.”
The good news, the 25-year-old star doesn’t believe he’s too far off.
“But I think that in the next coming days, I’ll get back to feeling 100%, and we’ll get back to adding some wins. This group has played extremely well while I’ve been out. I’ve seen a lot of steps forward from a lot of guys that makes me excited about our potential. I just want to continue to add value, play off those guys and keep winning games.”
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Celtics Finding Their Way
Despite his time missed, Brown is in the midst of yet another career campaign. His 24.9 points per game on 49.1% shooting (40.6% from 3) all mark personal bests for the Cal product.
“It is different when you go from not playing to playing, but I felt like he responded well and he had that third quarter that was a really nice stretch, seeing from him moving well,” veteran Al Horford said of Brown. “He kind of pushed through whatever was going through physically, he was able to push through it and you could see it, and it was good that he had some success.”
With Brown back in the lineup, Dennis Schroder reverted back to his sixth-man role while still managing to make his presence felt on the offensive end. In 28 minutes, Schroder finished behind only Brown and Jayson Tatum amongst Celtics in scoring with 18 points. The bargain free-agent steal has now averaged 22.5 points over his last nine games.
Brown, Schroder and the rest of the Celtics will look to keep their hot streak going against the first-place Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, November 23rd.