Hyperbole seems appropriate for 10 points in 90 seconds. Jaylen Brown trounced the 76ers in 2018 on a bum hamstring. A 1:31 sequence to close the first half against an 11-17 Pistons team in the middle of the regular season topped that, marking the moment of his young career.
Brown, already scorching and having dished four assists, splashed a corner three. He blew the crowd a kiss on the baseline, turned around and stripped Bruce Brown from behind to immediately pull-up from above the arc. Moments later, he nailed another triple from several steps behind the line on the left wing. He completed the four-point play and put the Celtics up 60-48.
That Jays maintained their hot stretch this week that could seal their fate as all-stars. They each scored 26 points in less than 30 minutes, sitting in the third quarter with a comfortable lead that became a 114-93 victory over the equally shorthanded Pistons.
Brown began his night faking past Tony Snell into a layup, then he took Svi Mykhailiuk all the way to the rim. Detroit’s guards set Markieff Morris and Snell up for back-to-back threes, but Andre Drummond and Morris ran just as many plays early. Ball-handling, in the absence of Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, became their downfall. Bruce Brown’s ensuing drive-and-kick attempt went off the dome of a man in row three who was later named the fan of the night.
Boston served Detroit back-to-back threes from Tatum and Semi Ojeleye. Kemba Walker opened the pick-and-roll with Daniel Theis to grant him three looks at the rim. Theis split a pair of free throws and shots before a quick substitution for Enes Kanter. Tatum capped Theis’ opening sequence with a leaning jumper around his screen.
Kanter embraced his own experience in the second half of the quarter. He tipped a Tatum miss out for Brown to hit a leaner of his own. Ojeleye and Kanter secured second and third chances after Ojeleye missed a corner three, only for Kanter to miss in the lane. He redeemed himself by splashing a practice shot from the right elbow for a 17-13 lead.
Detroit quickly attacked Kanter’s defense to stay in the game. Bruce Brown tipped his own miss over him back in with ease. Drummond blew by him to the rim, then Derrick Rose and Langston Galloway switched onto him to hit fadeaway jumpers. Thon Maker’s three in the corner over him kept the Pistons down 28-26, as Tatum and the Celtics bench maintained steady offense to stay ahead.
Tatum ran a pick-and-roll with Kanter to find Grant Williams in the corner for a second career three-pointer from the new marksman. Romeo Langford recorded his first bucket period, driving from the right corner to finish inside.
The bench contributed 21 of Boston’s 60 first-half points. It also gave Brown and Tatum the chance to run some offense in rotation. Brown found Williams and Javonte Green inside for makes early in the second. Then Brad Wanamaker hit Green in stride after another Detroit turnover for a raucous right-hand slam.
Walker joined Wanamaker to keep the pace up, taking Theis’ block on Svi Mykhailiuk on the run to find Green for a third bucket. Boston blocked Mykhailiuk three times in the half, a fourth drew a goaltending call.
Mykhailiuk hit a three to keep pace, but the turnovers kept funneling from the Pistons including four in two minutes from Drummond at the end of the half. Before Brown initiated his enormous run with under two minutes remaining, he caught a bad pass on the left wing, drove to the paint, spun and hit a pull-up jumper from eight feet. He followed it with another block on, guess who, Mykahiliuk, that Walker fed to Tatum for an off-balance make inside.
After Brown blessed the crowd with a kiss and 12-point lead, he passed the baton to Tatum to open the second half. The Celtics’ wings took turns dealing Detroit blows all game. While Walker struggled through an 0-for-5 start, Tatum drove inside for two, hit a spot-up three and finished a hook on a feed from Walker. His nine straight points got him to 24 points, then Brown met him there after the Pistons switched to a zone with a corner three and floater behind Drummond biting his fake.
Brown and Tatum shot 18-for-41 with 50 points between them against Dallas on Wednesday. As the Tacko Fall chants began in the third quarter, they had hit 19-of-40 with 49 points between them. Brown found Theis on an alley-oop for a three-point play for his fifth assist, then a 20-point Celtics lead paved the way for more Langford and Williams minutes.
Fall didn’t hit the floor, but Williams found the post on a roll off Wanamaker and post-up on Galloway that set him up for a spin inside and jumper to reach double-figures. The Celtics led 91-69 after three.
Tacko Fall received one of the loudest fan ovations in Garden history after faking his entrance into the game. He just entered the game for real. pic.twitter.com/x6sRA0PHAR— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) December 21, 2019
Fans kept clamoring for Fall, erupting in ovation when he stood up in the high-five line. Ojeleye turned to him, whispered something, and Fall stood up to get the crowd going. But they didn’t stop, and Stevens gave him the wave moments later.
After a rough turnover in the lane and gino time, the crowd got what they wanted: a block and post-hook inside from Tacko in succession before the Celtics closed a blowout win.