Coming off a lousy and costly 11-point, four-turnover performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, Brown was due. So, the challenge was in place for Brown to answer to the garnered criticism after having a hand in Boston’s second consecutive loss — and he passed.
Brown finished with a game-high 28 points, shooting 10-of-19 from the field, finishing a plus-six before Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla subbed the 27-year-old — and the starting unit — out of the game for good.
However, Brown wasn’t the only Celtic who played with a redemption-filled mindset in helping get Boston back in the win column.
Payton Pritchard, who’s also raised early-season questions after starting ice-cold off the bench, shot an efficient 5-of-10 from the field with 13 points. Pritchard hadn’t shot that well since the Celtics scored 155 points — he shot 6-of-10 — and demolished the Indiana Pacers to begin the month of November.
That set the wheels in motion for an effective bench showing. Luke Kornet scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds and Sam Hauser provided a bench-leading 15 points, getting all of his scoring shooting 5-of-10 from the 3-point line.
A smooth and easy trot to the finish line, perhaps signaling the start of Boston getting back on track, the Celtics are 1-0 in Group C play.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Brown set the tone, scoring 12 points in the first quarter to out-perform his previous subpar output in Philadelphia. The two-time All-Star grabbed three rebounds and dished out five assists to go along with his 28 points.
— Jrue Holiday flirted with triple-double territory, scoring 13 points along with 12 rebounds and nine assists. Shooting 6-of-14 from the field with two steals, Holiday finished a plus-26.
— Brooklyn’s Lonnie Walker IV was the strongest source of offense the Nets had. Walker supplied 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench.