Jaylen Brown played an incredible game Thursday night, and it came on the heels of his friend passing away.

The Boston Celtics surprised the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, eeking out a 92-88 victory. Jaylen Brown poured 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and tallied two steals and two blocks just hours after learning of the death of his longtime friend, Trevin Steede.

“My best friend passed last night. It was tough to kind of accept it,” said Brown, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “Everybody was kind of in shock. But I knew coming into today that he would have wanted me to play. It was hard getting my thoughts together, but after talking to his mom and his family, they inspired me to come out and play.

“I wasn’t in any shape to come out. I didn’t want to leave my room. But they inspired me to come out and play. And I came out and played in his spirit today. My teammates held me up, and we pulled it out.”

Boston extended their winning streak to 14, making them an NBA-best 14-2. Brown’s compiled 16 stellar games to being the season. He’s made significant improvements and is averaging 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. Thursday night was arguably his best game of the season, and he was the Celtics best player. Kyrie Irving noticed.

“Ky gave me the game ball and said, ‘This one was for Trevin,'” explained Brown. “That meant a lot to me.”

Irving proceeded to rave about his 21-year-old teammate. “I knew from the start of the game. I gave him some great words that was given to me. I’ve lost individuals in my life. It’s never a good thing when someone else is going through it.

“You do your best to console and to encourage them, but at the end of the day, it’s about the strength within themselves and he showed a lot of that tonight, to be able to go out there and perform the way he did, I knew exactly where the game ball was going to.”

Start a conversation with me on Twitter