Jaylen Brown vows to be better after FTs miss Celtics

BOSTON — After missing two free throws 7.6 seconds into overtime that would have given the Boston Celtics the lead, the star guard Jaylen Brown He took the blame for Boston’s 120-117 overtime loss to the New York Knicks at TD Garden Thursday night.

“I just have to get better, to be honest,” said Brown, after finishing with 22 points on 8-on-22 shooting and nine rebounds in 42 minutes. “Tonight was a tough game, and I’m a better basketball player than I played today.

“Those two missed shots kind of epitomize the whole game. I just couldn’t get ahead, I didn’t give my teammates enough energy to win, and that’s what happens when you don’t go out and give your best. I’m going to be better.”

Boston (35-15), losing three in a row after riding nine straight wins prior to that, needed a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to have a chance to win the game in the extra session. The Celtics trailed 102-89 with exactly eight minutes left after a free throw by a Knicks guard Miles McBridebut closed the game with a 21-8 run to tie things up.

The Celtics even got a chance to win the game in regulation. But a clean look at the jumper from Jason Tatum — who had 35 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists on the day he was voted an All-Star player for the first time in his career — got excited, sending the game into overtime.

“I felt like if I called a screen, they would double,” Tatum said. “So I kind of waved everyone down and came back to my place, and just rocked in and out. But it felt good and I thought it was good.”

Boston then stretched it all the way to 26-8 after Boston opened overtime with five straight points, and it looked like the Celtics were poised to shut out New York (27-23). Instead, the Knicks fought back, scoring six straight points to regain the lead at RJ Barrett 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining – one of only two baskets the Knicks have hit in overtime.

After the Browns bunted the ball over the baseline to put Boston ahead by one, Julius Randelwho had 37 points while recording nine rebounds, was fouled by Robert Williams and hit two free throws to put New York back by one.

The Browns then went to the foul line after that Galen Bronson He clipped his legs in an attempt to intercept a potential traffic light jump with 7.6 seconds left. Rather than put Boston back in front, the Browns missed both and forced the Celtics to foul the Knicks on the ensuing possession.

Barrett hit a pair of free throws, both Tatum and J.J Malcolm Brogdon He missed a potential 3 seconds to tie the game.

“I think for your sanity, just let it be,” Brown said when asked how he would handle missed hits. Come on, keep playing basketball and go out and be a better version of yourself.

“I love this game, and I love the highs and lows of it. It comes with it, so don’t be shy about it. You take it, you wear it and be better in the next game.”

The Celtics still have the best record in the NBA, though they now sit just one game short of the Philadelphia 76ers in the loss column.

And while Boston still ranks third overall in offensive rating and fifth in defensive rating, the Celtics have been ranked 22nd in the league in offensive rating since early December — a 24-game stretch in which Boston won 14-10, the seventh-best record. in the Eastern Conference during that period.

Over that stretch, the Celtics have dealt with a series of injuries – including Marcus Smart, who missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle, while Tatum and Brown both struggle with nagging injuries. There was little chance they could continue the pace of their stellar start over the course of an 82-game season.

But after another disappointing loss, Brown said he had to lead Boston in the right direction.

“It’s mental,” Brown said. “Having a strong mind. I think [Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla] He talks about her all the time, and she has mental toughness.

“Having lost two games tonight is going to be a great game to show that, and we dropped the ball, and I dropped the ball, as captain. I didn’t give the energy to help my team win and those two free throws just kind of embodied my whole performance tonight.”

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