Jaylen Brown credits unsung group for big Boston Celtics win in Phoenix

When discussing the Boston Celtics’ title hopes, most point to the strength of the team’s top six of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, and Al Horford while ignoring most of the second unit.

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The seventh, eighth, and ninth men in the rotation, Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and Luke Kornet, couldn’t be ignored on March 9 during a 117-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns at the Footprint Center, though.

Brown shouted out the unsung three-man troika during the postgame presser, claiming that the group won them the game.

“They won us the game tonight,” Jaylen Brown said (h/t MassLive). “Payton, Luke, Sam, their energy, their plays, their effort. They’re the reason why we probably won the game tonight. It’s tough, but they’re always ready. So shout out to those guys.”

Joe Mazzulla says Boston Celtics bench has been ‘great’ all year

Joe Mazzulla also gave Pritchard, Hauser, and Kornet their flowers for a sterling effort against the Suns, but took his praise further; saying the trio has been great all season.

“They were amazing; they were tremendous,” Mazzulla said. “I thought Payton changed the game with his defense. Him and Sam both are known for offensive guys, but I think it’s been their defense that really helped us this year. And Luke’s ability to play against a second unit and switching really gave us a great look, and when they went to touch he was able to set great screens. So that unit has been great for us all year, but tonight they were big-time.”

Hard to argue with the results. Pritchard (10) and Kornet (14) both went for double-digit scoring totals, but while Hauser struggled with his shot (1/5), he still finished right behind Kornet (+12) and Pritchard (+13) with a +10 box plus-minus.

Boston’s historic season wouldn’t be possible if the second unit allowed teams to get back into contests.

That hasn’t been the case. And the C’s best players, and most importantly, their head coach, have taken notice.

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