Things just clicked for the Celtics on Friday night.
In the third quarter against the Brooklyn Nets, Derrick White saw Luke Kornet cut to the rim and threw a perfect lob that Kornet knocked down for a slick alley-oop bucket.
His teammates couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Kornet made another highlight reel in the fourth quarter when he dished a no-look dime to Payton Pritchard under the basket for an easy layup. His effective evening drew praise from Richard Jefferson and the ESPN broadcast team.
“He’s a valuable guy, and he showed that tonight,” Jefferson said during the ESPN broadcast.
Kornet is a deep backup to Boston’s two-headed monster of Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. With Horford out of the lineup on Friday, Kornet became the second center option for the Celtics.
Kornet is average 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game this season, but finished with seven points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes on Friday.
Although Kornet hasn’t averaged more than 4.4 points in a Celtics uniform, he’s making all the right plays this season – and sometimes even exciting ones. And while teams seem to enjoy riding Kornet when they feel they have a favorable matchup, the Boston Big is quietly averaging 0.5 steals per game in just 9.7 minutes per game. That’s almost even with Porzingis (0.6) and Horford (0.7), who have a significant minutes advantage.
Friday provided a rare flashy moment for Kornet, but flashy or not, he was a steady hand deep in Boston’s rotation.
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