Brown missed Game 1 of the Boston Celtics' second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night with a right hamstring injury despite trying to talk his way into the lineup leading up to the Eastern Conference showdown.
The seven made 3-pointers from point guard Terry Rozier, which was not a career high, but was second in his time in the National Basketball Association and boosted him to a 29-point performance, the third-best of his career.
Philly shot just 5-for-26 (19%) on three-pointers. He averaged 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 0.6 steals in 17.1 minutes per game last season.
Brown said he tried to convince Boston's medical staff that he was good to go for Game 1, but they made a decision to play it safe. The third-year guard knocked down seven 3-point shots, including a couple of daggers when the 76ers were on the verge of coming back.
"I think they came ready to play and we were very rusty", Simmons said postgame. Rookie Ben Simmons showed flashes of his brilliance with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but his seven turnovers were a major blemish on his overall performance. And Philadelphia's All-Star center, never afraid to speak his mind, is sure to be targeted by the Boston crowd in Game 2. What ailed Simmons was systematic to the entire Sixers team. But a pair of baskets by J.J. Reddick cut the deficit to 12-points, 87-75, heading into the fourth.
When he strutted into the building wearing a Drew Bledsoe jersey - a parting shot at Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe - we should have known that the long ball was going to fall his way.
Here are three takeaways from Game 1 in Boston. When you're hot, you're hot, and Rozier knows he's en fuego. This time, the third-year player produced career-highs of 11.3 points, 4.7 boards, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steals in 25.9 minutes a night.
"With Wilt and Bill and all the guys that have laid the foundation for us to play now, obviously it was before we were born but you appreciate the talent that they had and the rivalry that was put in place", guard T.J. McConnell said.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown theorized that his team may not have benefited from getting so much time off between rounds one and two of the playoffs.
"It's going to be a challenge in the fact that he's a great player", Smart, asked about Simmons, said. With Horford shepherding Boston's young flock, the undermanned Celtics have a great chance to thwart the talented but inexperienced Sixers.