Falling short in the 2022 NBA Finals has fueled the stellar performances of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown so far this season.
Both Boston Celtics stars are in the midst of career years as they look to return to the big stage and finish the job in 2023. They asserted their dominance once again in Wednesday night's 139-96 rout of the Brooklyn Nets.
Celtics Talk POSTGAME POD: Celtics DOMINATE Brooklyn Nets in blowout win | Listen & Subscribe
Tatum outscored the Nets by himself in the first quarter (18-16) while Brown tallied 12 points of his own in the frame. They combined to shoot 7-for-8 from 3-point range in the first 12 minutes, and they didn't stop there.
Both Tatum (31 points) and Brown (26 points) finished the game 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, becoming the first teammates in C's history to make seven 3s in the same game. They accomplished that feat in only three quarters as Boston's huge lead allowed them to rest in the fourth.
"Carrying the team, man," Celtics big man Robert Williams said of Tatum and Brown after the win. "They take all criticism. They take all the he said, she said. But I love how they've been responding. Feel like they're hungry, really. You know what I'm saying? Still pissed about last year."
The motivation from the Celtics' Finals loss has helped Tatum average a career-high 31.1 points per game and earn a spot in the 2023 NBA All-Star starting lineup. Brown is averaging a career-high 27.0 points per game and almost certainly will earn his second All-Star nod as a reserve. They've helped the C's to a league-best 37-15 record.
Williams has done his part as well since returning to Boston's lineup, averaging 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds through 18 games. He had 16 points and nine boards in Wednesday's win over Brooklyn.
He and the Jays will look to stay hot when the C's host the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
You can watch Williams' full postgame press conference below: