Celtics

Celtics-Cavaliers takeaways: Jaylen Brown is all the way back

Celtics

The Boston Celtics bounced back from Monday's defeat with a convincing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

It was a dominant offensive performance from the C's as they dropped 64 points in the first half and had four starters in double figures. Jaylen Brown led the way with a game-high 34 points while Robert Williams chipped in with a career-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, and two steals. Darius Garland paced the Cavs with 28 points on the night.

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Joe Johnson also made an appearance late in the fourth quarter after signing his 10-day contract with the Celtics. The 40-year-old was welcomed with a standing ovation from fans at TD Garden and he sent them into a frenzy with his lone bucket.

Here are three instant takeaways from the C's 111-101 win, which brings them to 16-16 on the season. Next up is a Christmas Day matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Jaylen Brown is all the way back

It's safe to say Jaylen Brown has put that nagging hamstring injury behind him (don't worry, we knocked on wood).

The 25-year-old has been outstanding since making his second return from the injury on Dec. 13. He's averaging 25.2 points over that five-game span and has scored more than 20 points in his last four.

Brown finished with 34 points (12-22 FG, 5-10 3PT), six rebounds, and three assists.

This is the Jaylen Brown the Celtics have desperately needed over the last couple of months. C's head coach Ime Udoka's decision to take it slow with his All-Star wing's recovery seems to have paid off, and that bodes well for Boston as it prepares to make a run in 2022.

 

Romeo Langford shines in starting role

Brown and Williams' numbers jump off the page in the box score, but don't overlook Romeo Langford's contributions to Wednesday night's victory. The 22-year-old got the start for the short-handed C's and made the most of his opportunity.

Langford was a +18 while notching 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds. He also tallied two steals and a block

The performance was a reminder that with Langford, it isn't a question of whether the 2019 first-round draft pick is talented enough to be a consistent contributor. Health has been and continues to be the No. 1 concern. If Langford can stay off the injury report for a while, there's little doubt he could be a legitimate difference-maker for the Celtics down the stretch.

Tacko Fall's first NBA start is a success

With eight players in health and safety protocols, the Cavaliers gave Tacko Fall a chance to make his first start where he began his NBA career.

The former C's big man received a rousing ovation during player introductions at TD Garden. He followed that up with a solid performance as he recorded four points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks in 19 minutes.

The first block came on a shot Dennis Schroder had no chance of making over him.

The second came against old friend Jayson Tatum.

All in all, a memorable day for the Boston fan favorite.