Jaylen Brown didn’t need to make an impossible basket to force overtime this time around, nor did he need to make a game-preserving steal to preserve a lead for the Boston Celtics. Yet, after witnessing his performance in Game 2 against the Indiana Pacers, there’s no doubt that Brown was once again the hero that the Celtics desperately needed. 

Brown decided to lead Boston’s offense in Game 2, which made sense considering he shot a blistering 14 of 27 from the field to finish with 40 points – tying his career playoff high – along with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. It’s almost like he was trying to prove a point to NBA media for snubbing him from All-NBA selection.

Well, if that was a motivation for Brown, then the Pacers are certainly going to be cursing at the people who didn’t vote Brown in. It does feel a little strange, considering that Brown is the second-best player on the team that finished with the league’s top record.

Brown obviously had plenty of help in the 126-110 victory. Derrick White, who has been one of the Celtics’ most consistent performers dating back to the regular season, had a good all-around game with 23 points, four rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block. White was also hot from the field, going 8 of 15 overall and 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Jayson Tatum chipped in 23 points, six rebounds and five assists, although he did struggle with his long ball and went 1 of 7 from three. 

Jrue Holiday had a great day distributing the ball as he ended the game with 15 points and 10 assists while only missing one of his seven field goals goal attempts. Payton Pritchard also chipped in 12 points off the bench. 

At this point, it looks like the Celtics’ return to the NBA Finals is inevitable. The Pacers, who faced hobbled opponents in the first and second rounds, now have injury worries of their own after Tyrese Haliburton suffered a leg injury and wasn’t able to return to the game.

If Indiana’s star point guard is unable to play in Game 3, or is not at 100%, things look bleak for the Pacers. The 2-0 lead also gives Boston and even larger window to allow Kristaps Porzingis to rest. While the Unicorn is making progress in his rehab, it looks like he might get a chance to carefully get back into game shape all the way throughout the Eastern Conference Finals.