Jaylen Brown looked different after removing his black face mask against the Atlanta Hawks. Brown, who has been wearing a mask since February due to a cheekbone fracture, scored 29 points in the final three quarters to help the Boston Celtics establish a commanding 3-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference first-round clash.
The Mask Comes Off, and Jaylen Brown Comes Alive
Some of Brown’s teammates were puzzled when the Boston Celtics called a timeout with nine minutes left in the second quarter against the Atlanta Hawks. He was present, but he had removed the black face mask he had been wearing since February. Brown felt something needed to change after a terrible offensive performance while wearing the mask. He went on a scoring frenzy without the mask, scoring 29 points in the remaining three quarters of the game.
At the beginning of the game, Brown struggled with the mask on, scoring just two points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field. But after taking it off, he began to play with more energy and aggression. His teammates noticed the difference immediately.
Brown’s improved play helped the Celtics take a commanding lead in the game. The team never trailed after taking a 4-3 lead on Derrick White’s basket just over a minute into the game.
Brown and Tatum combined to score Boston’s final 16 points, helping to seal the 129-121 victory. Tatum delivered a huge 3-pointer off a loose ball with two minutes remaining, pushing the Celtics to a 118-106 lead.
Marcus Smart added 19 points and Derrick White 18 for the Celtics.Trae Young had another strong game for the Hawks, scoring 35 points, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win.
Boston Celtics Take 3-1 Series Lead
With the win, the Celtics can seal the series with a victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Boston. Despite his improved play without the mask, Brown will most likely continue to wear it as the cartilage surrounding his cheekbone heals.