BOSTON (CBS) -- After struggling in Boston's Game 1 loss to the Bucks on Sunday, Jaylen Brown made sure that he wouldn't have a repeat performance in Game 2 on Tuesday night. Brown was the first player to arrive at TD Garden, three hours ahead of tip-off, to see the ball go in the hoop before the game.
Whatever he did worked, because he put the ball in the basket quite a bit once the game tipped off. Brown poured in a game-high 30 points in Boston's 109-86 victory on Tuesday night, helping the Celtics even the series at a game apiece.
"It's the playoffs. That's it," Brown said of his locked-in focus. "Survival of the fittest and every game counts."
"If I was a betting man, I would have bet that JB would have a great game," Jayson Tatum said after the win. "He set the tone, just with how aggressive he was and making the right plays for himself and others."
The Celtics got off to a hot start and no one was hotter than Brown. He hit a midrange jumper for the game's first basket, and then canned a corner three after some excellent Celtics ball movement to give Boston an early 7-0 lead.
Brown said that getting him going early in Game 2 after he struggled on Sunday was not part of the game plan heading into Tuesday night.
"Nah, I was just hooping to be honest," he said. "I was just being aggressive, that was it."
Brown showcased his full array of moves from the jump, exploding for 17 points in the first quarter. He hit six of his first seven shots from the floor, including a nasty crossover jumper where he made Bucks guard Grayson Allen take a seat.
Maybe Brown got away with a slight push on the play, but this is playoff basketball. The move caught the attention of the basketball world, earning Brown some praise from LeBron James on Twitter.
Brown continued to have a hot hand throughout the quarter, hitting a wing three as the shot clock went off to give Boston a 30-19 edge late in the frame. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown to start the game, and finished the quarter by finding Jayson Tatum for a nice layup, giving Boston a 32-21 lead at the end of the first.
"He came in locked in. You could tell when he got to the arena hours early; I saw it in his eyes," Grant Williams said after the game. "He established that tone and the aggression, not only knocking down shots but moving the ball."
Brown continued to pour it on in the second quarter, finishing the half with 25 points off 9-for-10 shooting. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from deep and Boston led by 25 at the break.
He cooled off a bit in the second half, because it's nearly impossible to stay as hot as Jaylen Brown was in the first half. He didn't make another basket until early in the fourth quarter, draining another wing three to put the Celtics on top 88-68.
He made only one other bucket on the night, but it was even bigger. The Bucks cut into Boston's lead to make it somewhat uncomfortable, but Brown put in a nice spinning layup off a Payton Pritchard missed three to put Boston ahead 99-84 with 3:24 left.
After Brown struggled in Game 1, hitting just four of his 13 shots for 12 points, it was great to see him dominate for large stretches in Game 2.
"He is a guy who is always going to bounce back and play well," said Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. "We expected that from him tonight."
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