Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 22 points Thursday after he nearly didn't play because his best friend died Wednesday night.
Jaylen Brown played Thursday's game against the Warriors with a heavy heart.
After the Celtics completed a 17-point comeback to pick up a 92-88 win over Golden State, the second-year forward from California told reporters that he almost didn't play the game because his best friend from high school, Trevin Steede, died Wednesday night.
"Everybody was kind of in shock," Brown told reporters. "But I knew coming into today that he would have wanted me to play. It was hard getting my thoughts together, but after talking to his mom and his family, they inspired me to come out and play."
Brown told reporters how the two met in high school after he transferred to Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga.
The No. 3 pick from the 2016 draft led the Celtics with 22 points, his fourth 20-point performance of the season. He also added seven boards, two steals and two blocks.
"[Kyrie Irving] gave me the game ball and said, 'This one was for Trevin,'" Brown told reporters. "That meant a lot to me."
After the game, Brown posted a tweet with a picture of Steede and himself. The two were the stars of a viral video from a few weeks ago in which they showed the difference between casual basketball players and NBA players.
Coach Brad Stevens told ESPN's Chris Forsberg how his conversations with Brown prior to the game were similar to the ones he had with Isaiah Thomas when he played a playoff game last season after his sister died in a car crash.
"A couple hours before [Thursday's game], I was talking to Brad, and I told Brad I didn't think I was going to be able to do it," Brown told reporters. "I couldn't get my thoughts together, I couldn't gather myself. Then his mom called me and gave me a whole new inspiration. I kinda think that was the reason why I was able to come out and play and be controlled and poised."
With Thursday's win, the Celtics have picked up 14 straight victories after dropping their first two games of the year.
Boston's next game will be Saturday in Atlanta. According to Forsberg, Brown will travel there Friday morning to be with family and friends.