The Boston Celtics secured a hard-fought 112-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden on Friday night. The game saw the return of Celtics’ guard, Jaylen Brown, who had missed the previous three outings with a knee injury.
Brown made an instant impact, scoring 29 points and providing a much-needed boost to the Celtics’ offense.
The charismatic guard is quickly becoming one of the league's most dependable scorers, and his performance on Friday night was nothing short of phenomenal.
Brown canned five 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
The Celtics, who had rebounded from a five-game losing streak with a win over the Orlando Magic earlier this week, looked to build some momentum with a strong performance against the Hawks.
And while they managed to hold a comfortable lead throughout the game, the Hawks made things interesting in the final quarter.
The Hawks, who are known for their high-flying offense, found themselves trailing by as many as 21 points midway through the third quarter.
But a spirited comeback in the final period saw the visitors cut the deficit to just six points with just over six minutes remaining in the game.
The Celtics, who had struggled to put the game away, finally woke up and closed out the Hawks, thanks in no small part to Brown's heroics. Marcus Smart added 16 points, while Jayson Tatum had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics.
Atlanta was led by veteran point guard, Rajon Rondo, who scored 12 points and dished out eight assists. Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points, while Solomon Hill added 14 for the visitors.
The win improves Boston's record to 20-18 on the season, while the Hawks drop to 19-20.
The Celtics are still trying to find their footing in the Eastern Conference, and will need to continue to win games if they hope to secure a playoff spot.
One positive for the Celtics was the return of Brown, who looked sharp and showed no signs of rust. The 24-year old guard has been a key piece for Boston this season, averaging 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
He will offer the Celtics some much-needed consistency on both ends of the floor as they navigate the second half of the season.
The Celtics will now head out on the road for a brief two-game West Coast trip, with games against the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets on Monday and Tuesday night respectively.
The Hawks will head back home for a two-game stand, starting with a matchup against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
In conclusion, Brown's return couldn't have come at a better time for the Celtics. The young guard dominated the Hawks and helped Boston secure an important win as they look to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference.
With plenty of basketball still to be played, the Celtics will be counting on Brown to continue his impressive form as they aim for a deep playoff run.