Former Kentucky center Dakari Johnson made his first NBA start on Friday night in place of injured Thunder center Steven Adams.
Johnson, a second round pick for the Thunder in 2015, has played sparingly in the NBA during his professional career. Johnson has been one of the best players in the developmental league over the past two years, averaging 15.4 points and eight rebounds per game.
But the former Kentucky standout has been on Oklahoma City’s primary roster this season after Sam Presti dealt backup center Enes Kanter for Carmelo Anthony late in the offseason. With Adams out with a calf contusion, Johnson gets his chance to shine on the big stage.
Johnson was a fine role player in his first meaningful NBA minutes (against Clippers C DeAndre Jordan no less) as the Thunder took a 12-point lead with him on the floor. He recorded on assist on a nice pass to Paul George for a corner three and missed one shot in seven minutes.
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