The Boston Celtics suffered another frustrating loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night highlighted by a poor fourth-quarter performance.
The Sixers closed the game on a 18-6 run and held the Celtics to just two made shots over the final 4:14 of the fourth quarter. Boston also missed two free throws and committed three turnovers during that span en route to a 108-103 loss at TD Garden.
Jaylen Brown, who scored a team-high 31 points in the defeat, reiterated his confidence in the Celtics despite the team losing five of its last seven games.
“Do I believe? Absolutely, absolutely. No question, I think that’s an obvious answer for me," Brown said in his postgame press conference. "I know people are tired of hearing it and people probably have lost belief and faith, but mine is unwavering.”
The Celtics have had their share of setbacks. Injuries have prevented them from having a full, healthy lineup for most of the season. Brown himself has missed 14 games due to injury. The team also has dealt with several players missing games because they were in the league's health and safety protocols.
None of these challenges have altered Brown's belief that the Celtics can still have a successful 2021-22 season.
“I think that we still can be a good team. I think that we’ve shown it in spurts," Brown explained. "I’ve been out for an extended point in time. I’m trying to get back. We got guys out, COVID. It’s not an excuse or anything, other teams do as well, but, if the question is, you ask, ‘do I still believe?’ 100 percent, regardless of if anybody else does or not.”
The Celtics' road ahead doesn't get much easier the rest of the month. Their next four games are all against teams currently in a playoff spot, including a Christmas Day matchup versus the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
The C's are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The good news for Boston is the conference is so competitive that only four games separate the Celtics and the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics will host the Cavaliers on Wednesday night as they try to build some momentum entering 2022.