Brandon Boston Jr. had scored 54 points total in 12 NBA games entering Wednesday night's game against the Boston Celtics. So, his 27-point outburst in the Los Angeles Clippers' 114-111 win appeared to come out of nowhere.
But Celtics head coach Ime Udoka insisted he warned his players about Boston.
"We talked about this kid," Udoka told reporters after the Celtics' loss in Los Angeles. "I mean, specifically him. ... We talked about how he scored 43 (points) recently in the G-League and with this team, his minutes are going up, up, up. So, I felt like we were surprised by him when we specifically talked about him.
"I mentioned KYP -- know your personnel -- and knowing who’s playing and this kid is getting a lot of run, especially with Paul George and some guys out, so that's disappointing there."
Boston, the Clippers' second-round pick (51st overall) in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, played sparingly at the NBA level early in the season. But with L.A. star Paul George sidelined due to injury, the 20-year-old wing made the most of his opportunity Wednesday, hitting 9 of 13 shots (including 5 of 8 3-pointers) for 27 points while adding four steals in just 25 minutes.
Celtics guard Dennis Schroder acknowledged Udoka's scouting report after the game but lamented his team's inability to contain Boston, who exploded for 18 points in the second quarter to give the Clippers a 12-point lead at halftime.
"He was on the bench, and he went off right away. Credit to him," Schroder said. "I know he scored 46 in a G-League game. I mean, we’ve got to respect everybody. End of the day, he came in and busted our ass.
"I don’t know how many points he had – but over 20 – and he won them the ball game. Like I’m saying, everybody got to be ready to go. If you’re coming off the bench or starters, give everything you have. You can’t just wait."
Defense has been a major concern for the Celtics on their West Coast road trip: Udoka's club has allowed 121.3 points per game over its last four contests while going 1-3 in that span.
The C's still are without injured All-Star Jaylen Brown, who should help on both ends of the floor. But the road doesn't get any easier, as they face the 20-4 Suns on Friday night in Phoenix.