Celtics

Jaylen Brown gets revenge on ex-Celtic Isaiah Thomas with ruthless burn

Jaylen Brown gets revenge on ex-Celtic Isaiah Thomas with ruthless burn

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas took a friendly dig at Jaylen Brown on Tuesday night, calling out his ex-teammate for his "ugly" new haircut.

But Brown got the last laugh Wednesday night at TD Garden.

The 22-year-old guard -- who was a rookie in Thomas' final season in Boston in 2016-17 -- scored 22 points in Boston's 140-133 win over Washington.

Two of those points came against the 5-foot-9 Thomas on an isolation play that Brown seemed to relish.

When asked about the play after the game, Brown fired his return shot at I.T.

"Oh man, he knows. You don't need to say it. He knows he can't guard me," Brown said. 

"He was screaming for help. Maybe his braids was too tight and he thought he could guard me."

Lest you think there's actually any bad blood here, that's just how Brown and Thomas interact. The 30-year-old guard acted as a mentor to Brown in that 2016-17 campaign, and that included plenty of good-natured banter.

"It's great to see him out there," Brown quickly followed up. "Me and I.T. joke back and forth, but I look at I.T. as like a big brother. He's a great teammate, great guy and I'm happy to see him out there playing well."

Thomas dropped a season-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, tallying his first points at TD Garden since his trade to Cleveland in the 2017 offseason.

But Thomas' "little brother" still outscored him by tallying 20-plus points in his third consecutive game, as the Celtics moved to an NBA-best 9-1 on the season.

That's a good way to get even.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Jaylen Brown: Al Horford 'should be celebrated' in his return to Boston with 76ers

Jaylen Brown: Al Horford 'should be celebrated' in his return to Boston with 76ers

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jaylen Brown has been around the Celtics fan base long enough to know that they can be hard on former C's who return with their new teams. 

Or in the case of Kyrie Irving, whose new team (the Brooklyn Nets) showed up to the TD Garden while he stayed in Brooklyn because of a shoulder injury, Celtics fans will boo the hell out of you even if you're not in the building.

Brown has no idea how they are going to react to ex-Celtic Al Horford returning for the first time with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. 

Still, he has a pretty good idea of what that moment will be like for him when Horford is introduced with the Philly starters. 

“He should be celebrated,” Brown said. “Boston fans, they're gonna do what they want, right? Al came here, contributed, took this team the farthest it’s been since ‘08 [NBA champions]. Al served his time well here."

Brown added, “For me, he was a great leader, a great person… I know I’ll clap for him when they call his name. That’s just me.”

In his three seasons with the Celtics, Boston won 63.8 percent of their games with Horford on the roster in addition to advancing to the playoffs each season, which included consecutive trips (2017 and 2018) to the Eastern Conference finals. 

MORE ON HORFORD'S RETURN IN THE CELTICS TALK PODCAST, LISTEN HERE:

In 208 regular-season games with the Celtics, Horford averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists. 

Semi Ojeleye echoed similar sentiments about Horford. 

“Just a great guy, a great man, a great leader,” Ojeleye told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “All of us young guys who are still here, we learned a lot from our time around Al.”

Still, Brown added, don’t get it twisted. 

He and his teammates from last season have lots of love for Al, before and after the game. 

But when the ball goes up and the game starts? That’s another matter entirely. 

“Every time I see Al, that’s my guy,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to it, say hello before the game. But while we on the court… don’t talk to me.”

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

The latest health concern for Celtics' Gordon Hayward is...

The latest health concern for Celtics' Gordon Hayward is...

INDIANAPOLIS -- The good news is the blow Gordon Hayward took to the face in the third quarter did not produce a broken nose as initially feared when replays showed the impact of Doug McDermott’s palm crashing into Hayward’s nose. 

But Hayward isn't totally in the clear, either. 

Hayward said he felt pretty dizzy shortly after the shot to the face, which, in part, is why he did not return to the floor in the Celtics 122-117 loss to the Pacers on Wednesday night. 

“Because of that, I came back here and went through a concussion thing to make sure everything is OK,” said Hayward who had nine points on 4-for-8 shooting in 25 minutes. 

While Hayward is not in the NBA's concussion protocol, he said he will have additional testing when the Celtics return to Boston, which creates a level of uncertainty about his status for the game Thursday night against Philadelphia.

“I still have a pretty good headache now, but hopefully by tomorrow I should be good,” Hayward said. 

If Hayward is put into concussion protocol, it will be yet another setback to his quest to regain his All-Star form prior to arriving in Boston. 

The 6-foot-8 Hayward missed 13 games this season after suffering a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand, an injury that saw Hayward return to the floor ahead of schedule. 

But if he’s in the concussion protocol, there’s no telling how long he will be out. 

And he would be the latest Celtic to be out for what appears to be an indefinite period of time. 

Marcus Smart (eye infection) missed his second game in a row Wednesday, with no clear sense of when he’ll be back on the floor. 

Ditto for Robert Williams III, whose hip injury also kept him out of the lineup for the second game in a row. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.