Is Jaylen Brown still motivated by this Stephen Curry taunt from 2017?

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Is Jaylen Brown still motivated by this Steph Curry taunt from 2017? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 NBA Finals isn't short on fascinating subplots, but there might be one we're overlooking.

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown was a rookie when he played his first game in Golden State against Stephen Curry's Warriors on March 8, 2017. On the final possession of the third quarter, Brown was tasked with trying to prevent Curry from getting a shot off.

Then Curry did this.

Not only did Curry fake Brown out of his shoes to drill a 3-pointer at the buzzer, he also taunted the 20-year-old by pointing in his direction and giving him the "stop talking" gesture as Brown headed to Boston's bench.

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It's been more than four years since that play, but Celtics legend and 98.5 The Sports Hub broadcast analyst Cedric Maxwell believes Brown still might be motivated by that Curry taunt.

"Will that come back and bite (the Warriors) in the behind?" Maxwell wondered Monday on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition, as seen in the video above. "Because I think Brown still has a grudge with that."

We wouldn't be surprised if that's the case; NBA players use every possible slight as motivation, and Brown likely wasn't thrilled about being embarrassed like that on the national stage.

Brown finished with just three points in that game -- a 99-86 Celtics win -- but has played very well against Golden State since then, averaging 17.1 points over seven career games against the Warriors and most recently dropping 26 points in a 22-point rout of the Dubs on March 16.

The Celtics will need a fully-motivated Brown if they want to beat a deep, experienced Golden State team that's playing in its sixth NBA Finals in the last eight seasons. Game 1 is set for Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET at the Chase Center.