Brown leads Celtics to W after death of friend

BOSTON — The Celtics extended their winning streak to 14 games, defeating the Golden State Warriors 92-88 after going on a 19-0 run in the 3rd quarter on Thursday evening at TD Garden.

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, also contributing seven rebounds and two assists. This night meant much more to Brown, as his childhood best friend Trevin Steede died suddenly on Wednesday night.

“I wasn’t in any shape to come out. I didn’t want to leave my room,” said Brown postgame. “But they inspired me to come out and play. And I came out and played in his spirit today. My teammates held me up and we pulled it out.”

Brown told reporters that he and Steede first met shortly after he transferred to Joseph Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia, where Steede was going at the time.

“I remember I didn’t have any friends,” Brown said. “The first few days I sat at the lunch table by myself — I’m super quiet and didn’t know anybody.”

Steede noticed Brown sitting by himself and encouraged him to sit with him, and they had been friends ever since.

Kyrie Irving, who ditched his protective face mask mid-game, scored 16 points also earning five rebounds and six assists. Eleven of Irving’s points come in the 4th quarter, including two clutch free throws with 14 seconds left to give the Celtics a late lead.

Al Horford continued to excel on both sides of the ball, as he scored 18 points, while also managing 11 rebounds. Jason Tatum and Marcus Morris both had 12 points, and Tatum sunk two victory-clinching free throws with six seconds left.

After Irving’s late free throws, the score was 90-88 Celtics, and the Warriors had 14 seconds to score to either tie or win the game. Instead of electing to kill off the clock, the Warriors did a quick inbound to Kevin Durant, whose shot missed from 16 feet, and was rebounded by Irving, all but sealing the Celtics victory.

Durant lead the Warriors in scoring with 24 points, but only managed three rebounds and assists. The Celtics managed to limit star Steph Curry to only nine points, who only had four points total going into the fourth quarter. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson scored 11 and 13 points, contributing eight and seven rebounds respectively.

The Celtics outrebounded the Warriors by 14 and still managed to get the win despite only shooting 32.9 percent from the field.

The Warriors came into Boston averaging an NBA-best 119.6 points per game, but the Celtics allowed the least average points per game this season with opponents averaging 94.5 points per game. This was the Warriors lowest scoring game of the season.

When asked about the possibility against facing off against the Celtics in the NBA Finals, Steph Curry said the Warriors could be playing in Boston when the finals roll around.

“Very, very likely, right?” Curry said. “They’re playing the best right now in the East. Obviously, they need to beat Cleveland, who’s done it three years in a row. We’ll see, but I heard the weather’s great here in June.”

The Celtics (14-2) are 1st in the Eastern Conference and next face the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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