Jaylen Brown Scores 36 Points as Celtics Race Past Wizards 126-107
Jaylen Brown scored 36 points and Jayson Tatum had 33 as the Boston Celtics won their third straight to open the season, cruising past the Washington Wizards 126-107 on Monday night.
It’s the second straight season the Celtics have begun with three straight wins.
Brown was 8 for 13 from 3-point range.
“We’ve got a lot of talent. We’re going to be more talented than a lot of teams,” Brown said. “We just try to take advantage of all of our opportunities.”
Kristaps Porzingis scored 15 points in his return to Washington, where he spent his previous 1 1/2 seasons. Porzingis was traded to Boston in June and scored 30 points in his first game for the Celtics on Wednesday, setting a franchise record for scoring in a debut.
“This was home for a year-and-a-half, so definitely some good, good memories here,” Porzingis said.
Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points for the Wizards (1-2), who trailed throughout and were behind by 26 points after 10 minutes.
“Obviously, first quarter, game over,” Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “We played on our heels most of that quarter.”
Brown scored 16 points in the first quarter as Boston raced to a 42-19 lead. He had 27 points by halftime.
“It’s nights like tonight where it’s easy to take your foot off the gas, but if you want to do what you say you want to do, we’ve got to come out and play the game the right way,” Brown said.
Brown hit his final basket midway through the third quarter as the Celtics built a 37-point lead, and coach Joe Mazzulla rested his starters for the final 12 minutes.
“We think it’s something we can control, the way we come out and start games,” Mazzulla said. “We just have too many good players and we have a chance. We’re really trying to make sure we come out with the right mindset the whole game. It doesn’t mean it’s going to go our way. I really liked our approach.”
The last time Boston had more than three straight wins to start a season was in 2009, when it won six in a row.
Tatum scored 17 points in the third quarter. By then, Brown had nearly reached his total for the night.
“He came out aggressive tonight, getting into his spots,” Tatum said. “When you start feeling good about yourself, you get into a rhythm, those tough shots are still tough, but they become a little bit easier.”
Unseld tried everything he could to stop Boston’s onslaught, calling five timeouts in the first 30 minutes.
Wizards center Daniel Gafford missed the game with a sprained left ankle, and rookie Bilal Coulibaly, a first-round draft choice, started for the first time. He had nine points.
“You want to give them credit,” Unseld said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons. That starting unit that we put out tonight hadn’t played one minute in preseason in totality.”
Celtics: Host Indiana on Wednesday night.
Wizards: At Atlanta on Wednesday night to begin a four-game trip.