Jaylen Brown praises Payton Pritchard after big night in Detroit

Jaylen Brown praises Payton Pritchard after big night in Detroit originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

With Jrue Holiday sidelined for his third consecutive game — the guard still has no timetable to return as he deals with “dead arm”Payton Pritchard once again stepped up to play a big role in the Boston Celtics’ 129-102 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Following Wednesday’s 19-point outing against the Milwaukee Bucks, Pritchard continued his impressive ways by logging 20 points on 8-15 from the field, 4-9 from deep, nine assists, and two rebounds in a team-high 38 minutes. Unlike Wednesday where he came off the bench, the Oregon product entered the starting lineup in Detroit.

Jaylen Brown, who led the Celtics with 33 points, spoke with NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin after the win to talk about Pritchard’s hot streak.

“P [Pritchard] came out on fire,” Brown told Chin. “In the first half, I was like ‘it’s his show,’ so let him keep running it.”

Through the first half, Pritchard shared a team-high 17 points with Brown on a 57 percent clip. The 26-year-old has done an incredible job in Holiday’s absence, controlling the flow of Boston‘s offense and stepping up in the scoring department when needed. With Jayson Tatum also sidelined in Friday’s matchup, Brown leaned on Pritchard as the secondary scorer.

“He was playing well, running the right plays,” Brown added of Pritchard. “When we got our guys running like that, it’s important. We want to empower our guys to continue to play like that and reward them.”

Seen as a weak point at the start of the season, Boston’s bench has evolved into one of the most reliable second units in the league with Pritchard and Sam Hauser averaging 9.6 and 9.8 points respectively off the bench since the All-Star break.

“These next couple games, I’ll be looking to play through some of our guys to get them feeling good about themselves,” Brown said.

The Celtics will look to carry their momentum into Saturday night as they take on the Chicago Bulls in the second of six straight road games.