After getting blown out by the Philadelphia 76ers a little over one month ago, the Boston Celtics returned the favor on Tuesday night. It was a wire-to-wire win for the C’s, marking their ninth win in a row and moving them up to sixth in the Eastern Conference. They are within striking distance of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Postgame, Jaylen Brown commented on how much this win meant to both him and the team. According to him, they had this game circled on their schedule.
“This is a game that I know we needed. I wanted this game. I didn’t play well last time we played in Philly. So I wanted to come out, be aggressive, play well. This is a game that we all talked about like we wanted this one. And we came out and got the job done.”
With the win, Boston split the season series with the 76ers. They are also only one game behind the Sixers for the fourth seed in the East.
The main catalyst behind Boston’s recent success has been their stifling defense. They’re the best in the East and just a fraction of a point behind the Golden State Warriors.
“This is probably one of the better defensive teams in my career. We’ve had some really good defensive units, but it feels hard to score on us. It feels really good, feels connected.”
In nine of the Celtics’ last 12 games, they have held their opponent to under 100 points. And in four of those, they held them to under 90. Brown made sure to shout out his teammates for their effort on that end, too.
“We got a lot of guys each and every night stepping up on that side of the ball. I don’t think they get enough credit. Rob has been fantastic, Smart, of course, is going to be Smart. JT. We’ve been playing both sides of the ball all season, and we’re still getting better.”
Earlier in the season, this would have been a game the Celtics could have easily lost. They blew a bunch of leads at the start of the year, but they are seemingly getting past that. But as much as the win may have felt, Brown said that they just need to keep moving forward.
“We definitely smoked some of these games in the past, being up big. So to be able to finish and find ways to win shows that we’re learning, that we’re growing. So we just gotta keep it up, one game at a time.”
The Celtics have just one game left before the All-Star break, as they take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night.