On December 18, 2014, Kevin Durant became the only player in modern NBA history to score 30 points without reaching the 20-minute mark. As of yesterday, he’s no longer alone on that list.
Jaylen Brown not only joined the former Thunder superstar but eclipsed his record by scoring 33 points in 19 minutes and 14 seconds spent on the floor. The 24-year-old guard led the Celtics to a 141-103 win over the Cavaliers, improving the team’s record to 9-6 and imposing himself as one of the best two-guards in the association today.
We needed a win. We lost three in a row. Being back on our floor, we wanted to make sure we came out with great intensity, and we did.Jaylen Brown, ESPN
Jaylen scored 20 of his 33 points in the third and sat out the entire fourth quarter of the game. He made 13 of his 20 field-goal attempts, including three of his four three-pointers, adding another four points on four attempts from the free-throw line.
Five other Celtics players scored in double figures — Kemba Walker had 21, Carsen Edwards added 18 off the bench, Daniel Theis had 17, Marcus Smart added 12 (9 assists, 5 steals, rookie Aaron Nesmith finished with 11 points. Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 13 points, Cedi Osman, Jarret Allen, and Damyean Dotson all had 12, and JaVale McGee, Andre Drummond, and Dylan Windler all finished with 11.
Brown has scored 25 or more in four straight games, the longest stretch of his career. He has five 30+ scoring games this season and two 40-point games, including his career-high 44 points versus the Memphis Grizzlies in December.
He’s averaging 27.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .532/.430/.778 shooting splits and is looking like a legitimate MVP candidate 15 games into the season. It looks like Danny Ainge was right to keep his young core intact.