Celtics bury Kings with 35-4 avalanche run; Jaylen Brown says Payton Pritchard has mastered the role of microwaves

With three minutes and 12 seconds left in the third quarter on Friday, the Boston Celtics trailed the Sacramento Kings 84-78. At 5:04 of the fourth quarter, they led the Kings 113-88. Do the math and it’s a 35-4 run in just over 10 minutes of play.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a basketball avalanche.

Jayson Tatum, who finished with 30 points and continues to make his case as the first MVP leader, credited Payton Pritchard and Luke Kornet for changing the energy of a game that in many ways didn’t was not going Boston’s way. They didn’t like the calls they were getting. The Kings, who became the only team in the league with a better offensive rating than the Celtics, put 40 points on them in the second quarter, the most Boston has given up in a single quarter this season.

But when Pritchard and Kornet, neither of whom are fully part of the regular rotation, entered the game for the first time at 3:12 of the third quarter, things changed. Pritchard ended up hitting a pair of 3s. Kornet blocked a pair of shots. But it was more about the palpable energy they gave the Celtics which was reflected in their combined 41+ point differential.

“I give a lot of credit to Luke and Payton when they checked in,” Tatum said. “These guys didn’t play the first half, they never really know when they’re going to play. But the real professionals always stay ready and they gave us the energy boost we needed. These guys came and changed the momentum. Of the game.”

Boston fans love Pritchard, in particular. It can heat up quickly. He might go a week or two without getting many minutes, but then boom, he’ll change a game like he did on Friday. Last Wednesday, Pritchard buried four 3-pointers in 24 minutes against the Hawks, then didn’t score a single point in seven minutes combined in the next two games before Friday night, when the two 3s he hit looked worthwhile. a lot more.

“It’s really hard to do, just get out [the bench] and be a microwave [scorer] like that,” Jaylen Brown said of Pritchard. “I think it’s one of the hardest things to do in this league, but Payton, it almost seems like he’s got it under control.”

The Celtics own the league’s best record at 15-4 and have won 11 of their last 12 games. During this period, they outclassed their opponents by 120 points. This team is no joke, to state the obvious. They’re the best offense in the league and while their defense doesn’t look quite as garish on the stat sheet at the moment, it’s arguably the most oppressive defensive unit in the league at max strength, to which they will not be before. Robert Williams returns.

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