Jaylen Brown returned to the Celtics lineup for Monday night's 108-90 win over the Houston Rockets after missing Boston's previous eight games because of a hamstring injury.
After a bit of a slow start in the first half, Brown erupted in the third quarter. He scored 12 of his 19 points in the quarter, including a stretch where he poured in 10 points over a 1:05 span highlighted by two 3-pointers.
Brown was happy to finally return to the court, but he's not at 100 percent just yet.
"It felt good to be back out there, just being with my teammates and competing," Brown said in his postgame press conference. "I didn't feel my best out there. I felt good all the way going up into the game. I had a little bit of tightness, but we’ll see how I feel tomorrow and keep building. I wasn’t super happy with how my body felt out there. We’re working through it.”
Brown later added: "This is a little bit of a nagging injury. I've had a hamstring injury a few times now. This one seems to be lingering now a little bit. But I have faith that in the next coming days I'll be back to feeling 100 percent and we'll add some winning."
Brown finished with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting (3-for-6 on 3-pointers) with three rebounds, one steal and one block in 23 minutes against the Rockets.
The challenge for Brown is two-fold: Stay healthy and continue performing at a high level.
The All-Star guard is averaging career highs with 24.9 points per game, a 49.1 field goal percentage and a 40.6 3-point percentage. If Brown is able to stay on the court and not miss many more games, he can absolutely maintain and even exceed his current level of play.
"This group has played extremely well while I've been out," Brown said. "I've seen a lot of steps forward from a lot of guys that makes me excited about our potential. I just want to continue to add value and play off those guys and keep winning games."