The second and third quarters of tonight’s Celtics-Kings game were competitive, but the Celtics then went on a 32-4 run to put the game out of reach. The bench poured in 34 points, adding energy that completely changed the game and gave Boston an 18 point victory. Jayson Tatum scored 30, Jaylen Brown scored 25, and the bench added 34 points.
The Kings now have the longest playoff drought among the major US professional sports organisations since the Seattle Mariners made the postseason this year, but they are certain that the run will end this year.
De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are the cornerstones of a well-rounded team that also features Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, a dependable veteran, Keegan Murray, a mature rookie, and a potent bench group.
They lost to Atlanta on Tuesday, snapping their seven-game winning streak, and tonight they faced the lone team with a superior offensive season.
Boston dominated the first quarter, which was capped off by a thunderous fastbreak dunk from Tatum. They had 10 assists, 10 turnovers forced (not a typo), 5 three-pointers made, and a 36-22 lead. The Kings had a horrible 2/12 shooting to start the game, and one of those misses featured this blow from Al Horford:
With Monk and Fox driving the Sacramento attack in the second quarter, the score was trimmed to four at the five-minute mark by a Sabonis hook shot. They had this clever transition sequence earlier in the quarter:
Derrick White (14 points, 3 steals), Jaylen (15 points), and Tatum (16 points) were Boston’s top scorers. In the second quarter, Sacramento scored 40 points on 64 percent of its shots, with 26 of those points coming from within the arc. While Fox and Sabonis combined for 26, Mitchell scored 10 points on 4/4 shooting from the bench.
The Kings established a four point lead after the Celtics were scoreless on their first six possessions of the third quarter. At the 6:20 mark, Malcolm Brogdon made a transition three and Tatum scored seven points in a row to give Boston the lead 74-73.
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