Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown returns after one-game absence due to sprained ankle

BOSTON -- The Celtics' Jaylen Brown started Sunday afternoon's game against the Brooklyn Nets and scored 21 points after successfully testing out his sprained right ankle before tipoff.

Brown also had five assists, four rebounds and three steals, playing 35 minutes in Boston's 126-120 victory over the Nets.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka had said earlier Sunday that Brown's status would be determined by a pregame workout, and that the ankle sprain -- which Brown suffered in Tuesday's win over the Atlanta Hawks and forced him to miss Thursday's win over the Memphis Grizzlies -- had reduced in swelling to the point where it was a matter of pain tolerance that would decide Brown's ability to play.

"Yeah, he was obviously upgraded to questionable, and he had some shooting sessions where he felt OK," Udoka said. "Obviously, there's gonna be some pain there, it's a little bit of pain tolerance. But the swelling has gone down and hoping for good news after his workout here this morning."

Brown, 25, came into Sunday's game averaging 23.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Celtics. The Nets, meanwhile, had both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the court together for just the fourth time this season, and only the 32nd time -- out of a total of 208 regular-season games -- since they signed together with the Nets in the summer of 2019.

Asked whether it would potentially be challenging to have to switch game plans multiple times in a playoff series if Irving is still unable to play at Barclays Center in the playoffs due to failing to comply with New York City's vaccine mandate, Udoka quipped, "No. The difficulty is guarding him.

"So, if he's out, it's fine by me."