Jaylen Brown addresses lack of shots late in Celtics' Game 4 loss to Sixers

Should Jaylen Brown be more involved in Celtics' late-game offense? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics' best player through 12 minutes Sunday attempted zero shots in the final five minutes.

Game 4 was a tale of two extremes for Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who scored 12 of Boston's 19 points in the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers but was held scoreless in overtime of a 116-115 loss that tied the second-round playoff series at 2-2.

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In fact, Brown attempted just three shots total in the fourth quarter and overtime, scoring three points on 1 of 3 shooting in the final 17 minutes of play. He wasn't involved in the Celtics' final play of regulation -- a missed Marcus Smart 3-pointer off a pass from Jayson Tatum -- or overtime, when Smart failed to beat the buzzer on another 3-point attempt off another pass from Tatum.

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When asked about his limited involvement down the stretch, Brown suggested he needs to be more assertive in crunch time going forward.

"I guess I gotta demand the ball a little bit more," Brown said. "I thought good things happened when I had it in my hands.


"But I thought our offense was OK. I thought we chipped away, we made big-time shots, we got great looks all game long and we just came up short in the end."

Sunday wasn't an anomaly for Brown, who has been dominant in first quarters this series but taken a backseat late in games. Here's a look at Brown's scoring and usage splits by quarter through four games in this second-round series:

Jaylen Brown has carried the Celtics in first quarters against the Sixers but taken a backseat offensively late in games.


Brown leads the Celtics in first-quarter scoring and usage rate through four games, but those numbers plummet in the fourth quarter, where the 26-year-old ranks fourth among Celtics rotation players in scoring and sixth in usage rate behind Smart, Tatum, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams.

Brown's quiet fourth quarters aren't always a bad thing. The Celtics' offense was humming for much of the final frame Sunday and overcame a double-digit deficit to take a five-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation. Tatum and Smart played a key role in that comeback, and there's no sense in forcing the ball to Brown outside of the flow of the offense.

Boston's offense has a tendency to stagnate in crunch time, however (see also: Game 1), with Tatum often trying to make a play in isolation late in the shot clock. Brown is the Celtics' second-best scorer and an excellent offensive attacker, so he should at least be touching the ball on late-game possessions.

Head coach Joe Mazzulla has stressed the importance of adjustments in the postseason, and there's one adjustment he needs to make entering Tuesday's Game 5 at TD Garden: Get the ball in Brown's hands down the stretch.