Brown matches his career playoff high with 40 points as the Boston Celtics defeat the Indiana Pacers, securing a 2-0 lead in the East

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Jaylen Brown defends the ball from Pascal Siakam

Jaylen Brown was already a significant challenge for the Indiana Pacers even before he was overlooked for the All-NBA team, which might have given him an extra push to demonstrate his value to the Boston Celtics.

“I think he cares about it in a way that motivates him, and I think he doesn’t really care about it at all,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said after watching Brown match his playoff career high of 40 points in Boston’s 126-110 victory over Indiana in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night.

“He understands that winning is the most important thing,” Mazzulla said. “He just cares about the right stuff.”

Two nights after his game-saving 3-pointer and one day after being left out of the voting for the league’s top 15 players, Brown scored 10 points during a 20-0 Boston run that turned a first-quarter deficit into a second-quarter lead that the Celtics never gave up.

Asked if the All-NBA snub motivated him, Brown said, “I wouldn’t say that.” Asked to elaborate, he said colorfully: “We’re two games from the finals. I don’t got time to (care).”

Jaylen Brown grabs a rebound

Jayson Tatum and Derrick White scored 23 points each, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Celtics, who lost Game 2 in both of their previous series this postseason.

Pascal Siakam scored 28 points for Indiana, which heads home for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday nights in an arena where they have won 11 straight games — including six in the playoffs — since March 18.

Tyrese Haliburton, who had 25 points and 10 assists in the series opener, had 10 points and eight assists Thursday before leaving the game in the third.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said Haliburton injured his left hamstring — the same injury that kept him out of 10 games in January.

“We need Ty, but ‘next man’ mentality,” Siakam said. “We’ve got to play together. This team got where we’re at by playing together. … It’s on us to continue.”

One game after the Celtics jumped to a 12-0 lead and Indiana spent the rest of the first half clawing its way back, the lead changed hands 10 times in the opening quarter, with the Pacers holding a 27-22 edge with 1:14 left. Then Boston scored the next 20 points.


By James Brown

A passionate and driven individual currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Born on 06 February, hails from Raipur, where their journey into the world of technology and creativity began.

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