Brandon Boston Jr. would have had a very proud former teammate Wednesday night.
The Clippers rookie exploded for a career-high 27 points in 25 minutes to lead Los Angeles to a 114-111 win over the Boston Celtics. Filling in for the injured Paul George, Boston had a true breakout performance after scoring just 54 points total in his previous 12 NBA games.
After the game, Boston said he dedicated his effort to former University of Kentucky teammate Terrence Clarke, a Boston, Mass., native who died in a tragic car crash in April at age 19.
"He'd be excited, have a bright smile on his face, telling me, 'I told you. I told you you're the best in the world, just keep going,'" Boston said when asked what Clarke would have said to him after his career night.
"That's the type of relationship we had. He always pushed me to be my best self, so I always keep that in the back of my mind. He's from Boston, he wanted to play for Boston."
Boston and Clarke were close -- Clarke was coming from a workout with his Kentucky teammate at the time of his fatal crash -- so it had to be special for Boston to have a career night against the team Clarke dreamed of playing for.
The Celtics have kept Clarke close to their hearts, as well: Jaylen Brown was among many C's players who attended a recent unveiling of the Terrence Clarke Memorial Gym at the Vine Street Community Center in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury.
The C's travel to Phoenix on Friday to take on the Suns, while Boston will seek a follow-up performance Saturday against the Orlando Magic.