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In the final minute of overtime in the Boston Celtics' loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, Jaylen Brown missed a wide-open Kristaps Porzingis in the paint and instead took a contested 3-pointer, which he missed. The mistake became easy social media fodder, but it was in fact an outlier in what is becoming a budding partnership between Brown and Porzingis. 

The duo, who live in the same building and have become friends off the court since Porzingis' arrival in Boston this summer, put their chemistry on full display on Wednesday night in the Celtics' 119-116 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Brown finished with 26 points and a season-high eight assists, five of which went to Porzingis, while the big man added 21 points, six rebounds and a lone assist. The recipient? You guessed it, Brown. 

It's worth watching the Porzingis dime first before we dive into the bigger picture here, because it ended with a Brown windmill that brought everyone to their feet. It's rare to see that type of a dunk in a game, but it's almost unheard of in the halfcourt. 

While neither player has ever been confused for an elite playmaker, it's clear they already have an awareness and understanding of each other's game. Of Brown's 50 assists this season, 21 have gone to Porzingis -- 14 more than any other player. Porzingis' assist numbers are not all that meaningful, but in case you were wondering, eight of his 26 assists have gone to Brown. 

Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum is the only duo that have spent more time on the floor together than Brown and Porzingis. In the latter's 385 minutes, the Celtics have a 118.8 offensive rating, a 60.3% assist percentage and a 62.5% true shooting percentage, and are outscoring teams by 13 points per 100 possessions.

Obviously, a big chunk of those minutes have come with the Celtics' starting lineup, but not all of them. Which is why it's worth focusing on this sequence in the middle of the second quarter. 

On the first possession, Brown and Porzingis are the two "horns" in a horns set. Payton Pritchard enters the ball to Porzingis, who drops a nifty behind-the-back pass to a cutting Brown. As Brown gets downhill, Brook Lopez commits and it's an easy lob up top to Porzingis for the slam. 

Porzingis appreciated the fearless pass: "He's not afraid to throw the alley-oop."

The next time down the floor, Porzingis arrives to set a screen for Brown in semi-transition. With Lopez sitting back in drop coverage to protect the paint, this is once again an easy read. Porzingis pops and Brown finds him for a wide-open 3-pointer. 

"I absolutely love playing with JB," Porzingis said. "We're starting to connect more and more. Honestly, it's just him making the game easy for me. I'm just making reads off of him. If he comes off and he wants the hand-off, boom, I hand it to him, I start rolling, he plays that game a little bit and then either finishes or throws the lob. He's making it easy for me and he's so explosive and quick with those backcuts that it's just natural for me to hit him on those backcuts. All credit to JB."

While helping the Celtics to an important early-season win over another one of the Eastern Conference's top teams was great, the potential long-term impact of the Brown-Porzingis connection is most encouraging. The Celtics have often been overly reliant on Tatum, both this season and in years past, and need to find a way to generate consistent offense when he's on the bench or not feeling it. 

That was a major issue in the Eastern Conference finals last season when they were upset by the Heat. They were a disaster in the non-Tatum minutes, and couldn't do anything after he got hurt in Game 7, largely as a result of Brown's poor performance. Not only did he shoot the ball poorly, but he turned it over like crazy. 

Pairing Brown with Porzingis when Tatum is sitting seems to be an effective way to solve multiple problems at once. In that duo they have two reliable scorers who will command attention from the defense, and Porzingis' size and versatility in the pick-and-roll helps simplify things for Brown as a playmaker. That should be really beneficial come playoff time.

A vast majority of Brown's assists to Porzingis this season have been lobs to the rim or kickouts for wide-open 3s -- both simple reads. It's perhaps not a surprise that Brown's turnovers are down to 2.4 per game this season, his lowest mark since 2020. 

"I don't know what it is," Brown said. "It's just like an automatic connection."