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Cal in NBA: Jaylen Brown Comes Off COVID List to Score 46 Points

His career high was not enough as the Celtics lost their opener to the Knicks in 2 OTs

Being in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 did not affect former Cal star Jaylen Brown in the Boston Celtics' season opener, as he scored 20 points in the first quarter on his way to a career-high 46 points Wednesday night.

Brown had practiced only once with his teammates in the past two weeks after isolating for 10 days, but scored the most points ever scored by a Celtics player in a season opener.

Unfortunately for Boston it was not quite enough to give the Celtics a win as the Knicks won the game 138-134 in double overtime.

“You know, adrenaline kind of took over. Once we got into like that end of the first overtime and into the second one, I could hear my heartbeat, you know,” Brown said, according to the Boston Herald. “I tried to do my best to breathe and stuff like that. For the most part, I felt fine to be honest. Coming out of quarantine, playing 46 minutes, I think I did OK in terms of just physical standings. Being away from the team that much that long, it’s always like a risk of injury coming back. High-level intensity. The guys in New York are a physical team. I think my body held up well. It would’ve been better if we won though.”

Brown tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 8, and on Tuesday he was listed as questionable for the opener.

He said before Wednesday's game that he had "some mild symptoms for the most part," including some breathing issues, but he used meditation to get through it.

"The most concerning was my breathing," Brown said, according to ESPN.com. "I had to really focus to get my breathing kind of back to normal."

The Celtics provided an inhaler for Brown if he needed it during Wednesday's game, but Brown said before the game that he felt pretty good.

"Just coming off being in quarantine and ramping the intensity level, there's obviously concerns, risk of injury and things like that," Brown said prior to the game, according to ESPN.com. "Some of the coaches are concerned it might be too soon, just because this is the NBA."

Brown showed no rust at the outset, scoring 20 points in the first quarter.  He also was part of a fourth-quarter Celtics rally that pushed the game into overtime.

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New York led by 10 points with less than 11 minutes left, but a driving layup by Brown got the deficit down to three points with 1:09 left, and he nailed three-pointer with 6.1 seconds remaining that Boston within a point.

Two Julius Randle free throws made it a three-point game, before a three-point shot by Marcus Smart with one second left sent the game into overtime.

Brown hit a three-pointer at the outset of both overtime periods, giving the Celtics a quick three-point lead both times. But the Knicks forged ahead in the second extra period and led by four when Brown missed a three-point shot with 17.7 seconds left that would have put Boston within one point.

Brown finished 16-for-30 from the field, including 8-of-14 from three-point range. He also had nine rebounds and six assists, and the Celtics outscored New York by 16 points when he was on the floor,

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Cover photo of Jaylen Brown is by Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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