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Observations from the Celtics’ victory over the Spurs

Jaylen Brown drives against the Spurs' Trey Lyles during the second half. Brown led all scorers with a season-high 30 points. Darren Abate/FR115 AP via AP

SAN ANTONIO — After Gordon Hayward fractured his left hand late in the second quarter, the Celtics moved forward and earned their first win in San Antonio during the Brad Stevens era. Jaylen Brown scored a season-high 30 points in the 135-115 victory.

■  Second-year center Robert Williams continued his improvement, scoring 11 points with 7 rebounds and 6 blocked shots.

Boston led for the final 43:52 of the game after recovering from a 7-0 deficit. Kemba Walker added 26 points while Marcus Smart hit four first-half 3-pointers and sparked the Celtics with 16.

■  The Celtics’ defense on LaMarcus Aldridge was stellar. He finished with 3 points on 1-for-4 shooting after dropping 48 on Boston in their previous meeting at TD Garden. Aldridge’s lone basket was a putback of a Rudy Gay missed layup. He got nothing on his patented step-back fadeaway jumper.

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■  It was a great start for Brown, who had missed three games with an illness and infection before returning Thursday against Charlotte. He scored 12 first-period points, including the first 7 to spark the Celtics early. It was going to take at least a full game for Brown to get back into shape and rhythm but he appeared to find it Saturday.

■  The Celtics can’t wait for Enes Kanter to return from his knee injury, not only because they want his skill set but it will finally allow Stevens to devise a center rotation. The team is probably playing Daniel Theis more than it wants to while Williams appears to be the only backup Stevens trusts. Vincent Poirier, signed to a two-year deal from France, hasn’t been part of the rotation.

■  Smart has always been comfortable shooting the 3-pointer but hasn’t always been efficient. This season he appears to be more efficient although he’s shooting only 32.6 percent. But that confidence allows him to keep shooting and he canned four in the first half, forcing the Spurs defense to spread the floor and enabling more Celtics’ drives.

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■  Williams is feeling more comfortable with increased playing time. He is becoming the rim protector the Celtics envisioned while his teammates use him as a luxury with the alley-oop. He scored on back-to-back alley-oops in the third quarter, the first a soaring one-handed jam and the second a no-look reverse layup.


Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.