PHILADELPHIA –  The Celtics have a shot at closing out their second-round series sooner than anyone expected with a win in Game 4 on Monday against Philadelphia.

No Celtic would benefit more from that than Jaylen Brown, who is playing despite a sore right hamstring injury suffered in Game 7 of the first-round series against Milwaukee.

The injury kept him out of the Game 1 win over Philadelphia, but Brown has been healthy enough to play limited minutes in Games 2 and 3.

“We don’t want this series to go any longer than it should,” Brown said. “Finish out the job and go from there.”

Win or lose in Game 4, Brown will be on the floor as a reserve although there is a chance that his minutes might increase from the 25-minute cap that he’s under currently.

“He felt better [on Saturday], so I don’t know if that’ll be upped,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, referring to Brown's playing time. “He played a little bit more than the 25 because it went to overtime and he felt great. [Game 3] he looked way better than the first game.  We’re encouraged by that.”

Indeed, Brown appears to be moving better on the floor as time passes.

But he knows having a couple days to rest the hamstring would do wonders for his health heading into the next round, where the Celtics will likely have a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland.

“That’s the key; trying to find some wiggle room for that,” said Brown, referring to getting some rest by closing out this series with Philadelphia as quickly as possible. “Our plan is to continue to win games.”


Against Milwaukee, Brown was Boston’s second-leading scorer at 17.9 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range while playing 34.9 minutes per game.

Since the injury, Brown’s scoring has dipped to 14.5 points per game while his shooting – 45.8 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3-point range – has been comparable to what he did in the Bucks series and he’s doing it in just 27 minutes per game.