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Celtics’ Jaylen Brown hopeful to play vs. Lakers after missing last 2 games

Jaylen Brown, Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown is hopeful to suit up for Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers after missing the last two games with a thumb sprain, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

Brown said as much during a conversation with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, detailing his rise as one of the Celtics’ reliable scorers.

The Celtics keep sliding down the board, now losers of three straight games and six of their last eight, dropping down to fourth place in the Eastern Conference behind the second-place Miami Heat and third-place Toronto Raptors, who lead them by a half-game.

Brown has been part of a three-pronged attack alongside newcomer Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum — all players averaging 20 or more points per game.

While the team’s offense has thrived, their defense has taken a back seat, which currently has Boston in the market for a game-changing big man who can defend the rim and turn shots away.

Brown’s inclusion should give the Celtics a scoring boost against a Lakers team that has proved to be one of the best defensive ones in the league halfway through the season. Yet they will need a lot more than some scoring punch to take down a team that’s on a roll, winning 10 of their last 11 games after bouncing from a four-game skid.

Brown’s newfound 3-point shooting has been as welcome as his defensive tenacity, but those are aspects that will need to become contagious if Boston hopes to shake off this three-game slide and get back on a roll through the dog days of the NBA season.