Rodions Kurucs got extended minutes on Monday and did a lot with them, putting together a solid all-around game.
His 19 points were efficient, on just 11 shots, and he was very good on the offensive glass, getting a couple of putbacks — including a buzzer-beater off a DeMarre Carroll airball as time was expiring in the third quarter to put the cherry on top of the 44-point sundae the Nets served up out of halftime.
Defensively, he was much more active than he was a week ago in Boston, creating a couple of steals while challenging shooters inside with his length.
There are times defensively that he can be reminiscent of a taller, slightly less lengthy Kawhi Leonard with his ability to just park himself in front of an offensive player and stay with him with persistence.
A testament to Jarrett Allen‘s increased strength this season shone through Monday night with his willingness — and at times eagerness — to bang with the Celtics, who were not able to intimidate the younger Nets with their physicality.
Allen worked through the bumps for his 15th double-double of the season while posting four blocks, the most he’s had since matching a career-high with five in a Nov. 9 win over the Denver Nuggets.
He went hard to the rack all night, content to get his basket or absorb the contact and make Boston pay at the foul line, where he was 9-for-10 on a very solid night.
Throw in 12 rebounds, with five tough offensive boards among them, and it was a great night for a young big man who is learning to play differing styles.