Boston Celtics

Jaylen explains why he yelled at ref after dagger Game 4 3-pointer

"That's why I was telling him to get his ass out the way."

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Jaylen Brown had a seemingly odd reaction to hitting the biggest shot of the game Monday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Brown buried a clutch 3-pointer off a pass from Jayson Tatum with 1:09 remaining that extended the Boston Celtics' lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers from five to eight and essentially sealed their 109-102 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

After hitting the shot, however, Brown appeared to yell in the direction of referee Tyler Ford and started walking toward Ford before his teammates held him back. (Brown also took a celebratory shot to the chest from Tatum; more on that later.)

So, what had Brown so upset? The All-Star wing claimed Ford bumped into him before he hit the big shot.

"Tyler, the official who was running down the sideline, I don’t think he was paying attention, but he was like in the play,” Brown said. “As I’m lifting up, I got bumped into him first. I had to push him out the way to catch the ball to be able to knock (down) the shot.

"It was like he was an extra defender right there because he was in the way. So, that’s why I was telling him to get his ass out the way.”

If you watch the play again, you can see Ford walk into Brown, who has to push Ford out of the way with his left hand before catching Tatum's pass and hitting the shot.

"I guess he didn't know what I was talking about, but he actually like really -- I thought he had an effect on the play," Brown said of Ford. "Maybe I was tripping, I've got to watch it, but I'm lifting because I want to give JT space ... and as I'm coming up, I bump into Tyler, like, on the floor.

"And that affects a possession of importance like that -- that makes a big difference. Like, you're bumping into the official while you're trying to get your spacing and get an open look. You've got to be more aware, I thought."

If Brown missed that 3-pointer, we may have heard a lot more about this incident. But the 27-year-old was laser-focused Monday night, finishing with 27 points on 9 of 15 shooting while delivering the knockout blow to Cleveland on that 3-pointer.

As for Tatum's blow to Brown's chest that caused Brown to wince in pain?

"Yeah, I'm gonna get Jayson back for that too," Brown said with a smile. "I wasn't paying no attention and he just comes out of nowhere with a left hook straight to the chest. I'm gonna get him back for that."

The Celtics now own a 3-1 series lead and can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win in Game 5 at TD Garden. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET, with NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Pregame Live beginning at 6 p.m.

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