The Boston Celtics bounced back from a brutal loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a much-needed win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
Jaylen Brown led the way for the C's with a game-high 38 points, 20 of which were scored in the first quarter. It also helped to have Jayson Tatum (35 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Robert Williams back in the lineup.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Celtics' 120-111 win, which ends a three-game losing streak and brings them to 33-30 on the season.
Aaron Nesmith had the best game of his rookie season
Brown and Tatum were the stars, but they couldn't have finished the job without rookie Aaron Nesmith.
The Vanderbilt product was a key contributor on both ends of the floor. He finished with career-highs in points (15), rebounds (nine), steals (three), and blocks (three). The box score doesn't do Nesmith's effort justice as his hustle and energy were a game-changer in the Celtics' victory.
Brad Stevens and Jaylen Brown both praised the 21-year-old after the game.
More consistency from Nesmith will go a long way in boosting a Celtics supporting cast that has been lackluster as of late.
Robert Williams' knee seems just fine
Speaking of boosts, Williams provided one for the C's in his long-awaited return to the lineup. Time Lord missed the previous seven games with left knee soreness, but you wouldn't know it by how he looked Wednesday night.
He finished with four points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks including this emphatic one on Devonte' Graham.
The Celtics simply are a different team when Time Lord is on the floor. They'll need him healthy down the final stretch if they plan on making any sort of run.
Celtics needed to play with more urgency, and they did
Jaylen Brown didn't hold back after Tuesday's loss to the lowly Thunder.
"Yeah, man. F---, like, we gotta play with more of a sense of urgency," Brown said Tuesday. "Tonight, I feel like we didn't have the sense of urgency that we needed across the board."
Well, Brown and the C's assured that the urgency was there on Wednesday. Brown came out the gate on fire with 20 points in the first quarter and finished with 38. Tatum, Tristan Thompson (12 points, 13 rebounds), and most of the supporting cast showed up as well.
It was far from a perfect performance. Boston scored only 19 points in the second quarter and Charlotte made things interesting in the second half. But all that matters is the Celtics didn't let this one get away from them unlike Tuesday and their many other frustrating performances this season.
They'll look to get the job done again Friday when they host the San Antonio Spurs.