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Jaylen Brown on recent struggles and fourth quarter explosion: ‘I’m my own toughest critic’

The Celtics star had been struggling before he dropped 23 points in the fourth quarter of Boston’s win over Minnesota.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

After three straight games of disappointment at TD Garden, the Boston Celtics finally broke through and snapped their losing streak. They took down the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, winning 121-109.

The game was tight through the first three quarters, as the Celtics couldn’t seem to break away from the Timberwolves. But by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Jaylen Brown decided that it was time to take over.

Brown said that the first three quarters of the game marked one of the ugliest stretches of his career, but he just wanted to stick with it, and that mentality paid off in the fourth quarter.

“The first three quarters was, you know, was whatever, and then [the] fourth quarter, just stayed with it, just mentality. Faith, consistency, hard work pays off. And I was able to find some rhythm and some shots were able to go down.”

Through the first three quarters of Boston’s win over Minnesota, Brown shot 5-of-15 from the field and 0-of-7 from behind the three-point line. He had a plus/minus of -6, making him the only member of the Celtics’ starting five with a negative effect on the game.

Everything changed in the fourth quarter, though. Brown exploded, scoring 23 points (of his 36 on the night) on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from distance. He helped the Celtics outscore the Timberwolves 33-23 in the final frame.

Over Boston’s recent skid, Brown has struggled with turnovers and decision-making, but his fourth quarter on Friday night showed a light at the end of the tunnel. He said that he hasn’t been playing up to his own expectations, and while Boston is a tough town to play in, he’s always going to be his harshest critic.

“Obviously, I haven’t played basketball up to my level that I expect. I think, you know, we got a lot of critics in Boston, but I’m my biggest and my own toughest critic. So obviously, when you’re going through a little stretch where you could be playing a lot better, obviously you’re gonna be a little bit harder on yourself.”

Before their win over the Timberwolves, Boston was 1-5 in their last six games. Over that six-game stretch, Brown shot just 29.6% from three-point range and committed 4.0 turnovers per game (while only dishing out 2.8 assists).

On the season, he’s putting up career-high numbers in points, rebounds, and field goal percentage, but his recent struggles had been glaring. But despite the issues, Brown stressed the importance of persevering, noting that the Celtics “needed a win” against Minnesota.

“I’ve seen some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I’ve had nights where I didn’t miss a shot. And then I’ve had nights where it seemed like I couldn’t make a shot. So, it be like that sometimes. And you know, you don’t hang your head, you get ready to try to find ways to impact winning, and tonight we needed a win tonight.”

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