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The Boston Celtics were able to beat the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, and they got strong efforts from Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown. The duo were two of the Celtics' three 20-point-plus scorers on the evening and their strong, hard play was a defining part of the Celtics' victory.
More important, both were able to stay confident, particularly late in the game after the Celtics trailed by six entering the fourth quarter. Walker did this despite a poor shooting performance in the first half (1-9 from the field).
Meanwhile, Brown did it despite a poor early shot-clock sequence in which Brown heaved up an ill-advised shot that didn't end up going in. Still, as Brown detailed after the game, Walker made sure to tell him that he was "good."
"He told me I was good," Brown said to NBC Sports Boston. "Brad had an aneurysm and Kemba was like, ‘You're good, bro. Just keep playing.' So we definitely have to make sure we take good shots, but I'm glad we came out with the win. Gotta be more conscious of taking the right shots in the right moments."
That shot was one of Brown's few blemishes Friday night. He tied for the team-high in points (25 with Jayson Tatum) and rebounds (nine, which Tatum also had) while making a couple of thunderous shot blocks.
Still, Brown evidently felt bad enough about the shot attempt that he attempted to apologize to Walker. Walker wouldn't have it.
"Aww, he don't have to apologize to me," Walker said. "He's not a bad guy, he works hard. Maybe, well, I was hot. But at the end of the day, he's a basketball player, and he took a great shot, he just missed. I didn't want him to apologize. I wanted him to be confident. He came out and won and he hit a big shot. It happens, just flow of the game."
Brown was thankful to have the support of Walker and credited Walker with instilling confidence in him.
"It's great. It's great for me just to know that he has your back because you don't always have that case or that scenario," Brown said. "Easily somebody could have said something or got upset or thrown a tantrum or whatever, but Kemba was like, ‘No, you're good. Just play.' It was the confidence I needed to make sure the next play was the right play."
The duo should look to continue to build chemistry as the Celtics season goes along. After all, they're both under contract for the next four seasons (thanks to Brown's recent contract extension), so they will be playing together plenty moving forward.
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