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Jaylen Brown takes blame on missed free throws, inconsistency in Celtics’ painful loss vs Knicks

Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Jaylen Brown took the utmost responsibility for the Boston Celtics’ heartbreaking defeat over the New York Knicks in their marquee Thursday showdown.

The star swingman caught an unwanted cold touch on the line, bricking two of his free throws that hindered the Cs to grab at least a needed tiebreaker or one-point deficit in crunch time. His charity stripe misses paved the way for the Knicks to take away a 120-117 overtime win inside the shell shocked TD Garden crowd.

“I’ve just got to be better, to be honest,” Brown said, via Brian Robb of MassLive. “Tonight was a rough game, and I’m a better basketball player than I played today. Those two missed free throws kind of embodied the whole game. I didn’t get it going, didn’t give my teammates enough energy to get the win, and that’s what happens when you don’t come out and give your best. I’ll be better.”

Brown entered the Thursday contest shooting a career high 78.7 percent from the free throw line. His much improved shooting this season didn’t casted itself to help himself and Boston to prevail over the grinding pressure of the tight matchup.

He also tallied 22 markers on the losing effort against New York, but was inefficient from the field with his 8-of-22 shots made. He was also badly off from the three-point distance, draining just one of his eight total attempts.

“Just inefficient,” Brown said of his performance. “Just didn’t really feel – didn’t assert myself into the game. Was kind of just waiting around for the game to kinda come to you. At points, I’m on one of the players that can just be aggressive and take control of the game. I kinda didn’t do that. I wasn’t efficient tonight. I had a couple turnovers I could’ve took back. Overall, just a lackluster performance. I could’ve played a lot better. It wasn’t anything – I mean, give credit to New York. They came out and played hard. It just wasn’t a version of Jaylen I know I can be.”

As he and the Celtics will head back to the video and drawing board with such frustrations of failing to close out the Knicks with victory at their side, Brown is confident to make a bounce back with plenty of games still remaining.

“I’ve been through worse, to be honest,” Brown said. “Obviously, tonight, I had a chance to help my team get a victory. We came up short and it’s tough. I’ve seen worse moments. Like I said, those two missed free throws kind of embodied the whole performance for me. It was lackluster. I had a chance to bring it home for us, give us a lead. It didn’t happen. But you wear it. You don’t run away from it and you get better for the next one.”

Brown and the Celtics will look to respond from the tough defeat and delete their three-game losing skid as they are set to welcome the visiting LeBron James, Anthony Davis and arch nemesis in Los Angeles Lakers on weekend.

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