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Jaylen Brown

BOSTON — Jaylen Brown started Game 7 wearing the protective mask over his face, but ditched it after the first quarter. He may have second-guessed that decision during the second quarter, but it was a smack to Brown’s face from the hand of James Harden that really turned things around for the Celtics in the team’s Game 7 romp of the 76res.

Brown was whacked in the face by Harden as the 76ers guard drove to the basket in the second quarter of Game 7, leaving the Celtics swingman with a bloody nose. But it didn’t throw Brown off his game, and that play turned out to be a huge swing in momentum for Boston.

The Celtics were trailing 35-27 at the time and appeared lifeless. Harden was hit with a Flagrant 1 on the play, giving Brown two free throws and possession to Boston.

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