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Brown scores 34 to lead Celtics over Cavaliers

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Agence France-Presse

Jaylen Brown matched his career high with 34 points on Friday to lead the Boston Celtics to their fifth straight NBA victory, 129-117 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jayson Tatum added 30 points as he and Brown hit the 30-point mark in the same game for the first time. It was also the first time since 2014 that two Celtics notched 30 points in the same contest.

Brown’s outburst followed a 30-point performance in a Christmas Day win at reigning champions Toronto and marked the first time in his career that he had consecutive 30-point games.

“Just trying to be aggressive,” said Brown, who made back-to-back three-pointers in the space of 25 seconds to put Boston up 108-90 with 7:20 left to play.

The Celtics didn’t trail after the opening minutes, and led 62-47 at halftime.

They led 84-62 midway through the third quarter, but some defensive lapses let Cleveland trim the deficit to single digits early in the fourth quarter.

Brown said the Celtics, second to the Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference, need to maintain focus better.

“I think we played a little bit down because we knew we were going to get the win,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to get better. It’s not about who we’re playing, it’s about us. We’ve got to have the right mindset at all times.”

In that vein, Brown said, he was already looking forward to Saturday’s home game against the Raptors.

“I haven’t played as well as I wanted in back to backs,” he said, adding that he wanted to change that against Toronto.

“Hopefully we can get another win.”

Enes Kanter added 14 points and Kemba Walker chipped in 13 for the Celtics, who improved to 22-7 overall and 13-1 at home.