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Kornet has hilarious response to C's fans who left Game 1 win early

The Boston Celtics had just a 2.6 percent chance of winning Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night when the Indiana Pacers had possession and a three-point lead with just eight seconds remaining in regulation.

The dire circumstances convinced some fans to head to the TD Garden exits — a decision they may have regretted after Jaylen Brown forced a Pacers turnover off an inbounds pass, then hit a miraculous corner 3-pointer to force overtime en route to a thrilling 133-128 Celtics win.

The following day, Celtics big man Luke Kornet was asked if he had any response to fans who left the Garden before Boston forced overtime. His answer should make any parent (or politician) proud.

“Speaking for myself and for my family, I know that the 8 o’clock start time can be a little late, and kids wake up at about the same time. So you understand, everyone’s making sacrifices to be there,” Kornet told reporters Wednesday after the Celtics’ practice, as seen in the video above. “So, that’s a part of it.

“… I hope (those parents) were able to get their kids to school early and are able to be in a better emotional and mental state to really, like, hit the day running. Because sometimes it can be in a rough (state) the next two or three days if you’re tired or your kids are tired, so yeah, that can be a tough situation.”

That’s next-level empathy from Kornet — himself a father of two young children — who wisely opted not to call out Celtics fans for bailing on their team before the final whistle. The 28-year-old big man even jokingly compared parents’ predicaments at late sporting events to his own defensive decision-making on the court.

“It’s kind of like being able to make the reads of, how much help do I give or how much do I not?” Kornet said with a smile. “You’re always kind of in that position.”

Fortunately for Kornet and the Celtics, the TD Garden crowd was exceptionally loud even in overtime, when Jayson Tatum scored 10 of Boston’s 16 points to help pull out the victory.

The Celtics are back at TD Garden on Thursday night for Game 2 with another 8 p.m. ET start time. Plan accordingly, parents of young children.

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