It was a win-lose kind of night for the Boston Celtics as they finish off a three-game road trip with a 117-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, but they lost forward Jaylen Brown in the process.
Earlier in the day it was announced that Kyrie Irving would be making his return to the C’s lineup after missing Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with left knee soreness.
But the real headline here is when Jaylen Brown left the game late in the third quarter with a potential concussion.
So Brown slams one home, hangs on the rim a bit and comes down wicked hard and awkwardly on his neck/back area. The arena went dead silent until Brown got up and walked himself down the tunnel for evaluation with team trainers.
Jaylen Brown walks off the court after a scary fall he took on a fast-break dunk. pic.twitter.com/pAEMfQAx2i— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 9, 2018
Coming into this primetime matchup, the Celtics had won five of their last six, with the Timberwolves playing .500 ball over the same span.
After an 8-0 run by the T-Wovles halfway through the first, the Celtics rebounded with a 22-11 run to take a 35-28 lead into the second.
By the end of the first, Marcus Morris already had nine points through seven minutes on the floor, with the C’s shooting 58 percent from the field.
Late in the second quarter Aron Baynes got absolutely posterized by Karl-Anthony Towns!
At the time, the C’s took their largest lead of the night with 1:30 left in the second at 60-44,while riding a 9-0 run.
The Celtics took a 60-46 lead into halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half.
During the second quarter Marcus Smart almost brought the house down with this helluva slam-bam put-back.
Morris was leading all scorers at the half with 14 points (6-11 FG) and five rebounds, with Kyrie Irving not far behind with 11 points (4-8 FG), three boards and three assists.
By the end of the first half, the T-wolves already had 18 points off of seven turnovers by the Celtics. But they wouldn’t score another point off a C’s turnover for the rest of the game.
The Celtics maintained a double-digit lead for the most of the third, as they took an 86-74 lead into the final frame of the game.
It was announced halfway through the fourth that Brown wouldn’t be returning to game. He was sent to the hospital for evaluation for concussion-like symptoms, per the Celtics. Before leaving the game, Brown had 14 points (4-10 FG) and five rebounds.
The T-Wolves tried to make a late comeback push, pulling within seven of the C’s with 5:06 to play in the game. But the Celtics kept their foot on the gas, while holding onto win 117-109. With the win, the Celtics have now secured a spot in the NBA Playoffs.
Celtics 38-4 when leading by 10+— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 9, 2018
Rebounding 18-14, Boston. Celtics have won 28 straight when winning the rebound battle by 4+ https://t.co/Sj1yPzfpHq
Irving led all Celtics scorers with 23 points (9-15 FG), seven rebounds and eight assists. Al Horford chipped in with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while shooting 50 percent from the field.
The Celtics bench stayed hot, dropping 42 points, with Morris leading the way with 17 points (7-15 FG) and five rebounds. And as a team, the C’s finished the game shooting 49 percent from the field and 34 percent from three.
Brad Stevens on Marcus Morris: “Marcus is a hard guy to guard at the 3 because of his size, and also at the 4 because he spreads the floor so much. He’s in a good groove right now.”— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 9, 2018
Towns and Nemanja Bjelica both posted double-doubles for the Timberwolves, with Bjelica leading the team with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (45-20) play the first of a two-game homestand on Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers (37-28). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com