The Boston Celtics 7-game win streak came to a screeching halt Wednesday night at the hands of the Sacramento Kings, 108-92. The Kings were led by 26 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals from point-guard Darren Collison. Ben McLemore had himself a night as well scoring 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. The Kings shot 50% as a team and their bench outscored the C's bench 50-32.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 26 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, and Amir Johnson chipped in 14 points, 5 boards, and 3 steals on 6 of 7 shooting (including 2-2 from three.) The story of the game was sloppy, disgusting play from the Celtics all night on both sides of the ball. Another instance of a rolling Celtics team playing down to an inferior opponent - one that happened to be missing their best player.
With DeMarcus Cousins out (suspended) the Celtics looked to attack the Kings interior defense early, going to Al Horford and Jaylen Brown for the first 4 points on the block. Thomas still paced the C's with 10 points in the quarter, and the team managed 10 of their 28 1st-quarter points in the paint. His point-guard opponent Darren Collison, the very guy Sacramento kept over Isaiah, managed 8 points in the 1st to lead the Kings.
The C's managed the edge on the boards in the 1st quarter 15-10 behind 5 rebounds a piece from Horford and Kelly Olynyk, and some solid defense held the Kings to just 19 points in the first frame. We also got to witness this gem from Dikembe Olynyk:
Kelly O. says NO ❌ pic.twitter.com/EuFw2oLIze— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 9, 2017
The C's got sloppy to start the 2nd, a mix of turnovers, bad fouls, and missed shots allowed the Kings to get rolling to a 15-6 run to start the quarter before a Brad Stevens timeout with 6:43 to regroup - tie game 34-34.
Ben McLemore was the catalyst for the Kings scoring in the 2nd, starting the frame shooting a perfect 4 for 4 (2-2 from 3) for 10 points. The Kings took a brief lead but the Celtics were able to close the gap and both teams headed into the break knotted up at 49.
Thomas led the Celtics with 17 points and 4 assists. Collison led the Kings with 14 points and 3 assists despite McLemore's scoring burst.
Celtics score just 21 points in the second quarter. Feel like that hasn't happened in awhile.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) February 9, 2017
The Celtics struggles on the interior D continued into the 2nd half. In the first 4 minutes of the 3rd the Kings scored 10 points, 8 of them came in the paint on dunks and layups (59-53 Kings).
It took some sharp 3-point shooting to get the Celtics back on top. A pair of three's from Marcus Smart, one of them from the parking lot, and another from the man with the slowest stroke in the NBA today Amir Johnson put the C's up 64-62 with 5:33 to go in the 3rd:
.@IamAmirJohnson splashes the corner 3! #Celtics Rewind pres. by @NissanUSA pic.twitter.com/mkgbcorSTP— CSN New England (@CSNNE) February 9, 2017
But more sloppy play to finish the quarter by the C's, including 3 turnovers in the final 2 minutes had them trailing the Kings 77-71 heading into the 4th.
Sloppy play at both ends by the Celtics that quarter. The way undermanned Kings lead, 77-71, after 3.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 9, 2017
The Kings struck first in the 4th but with 10:55 to go Isaiah checked in and the Celtics ripped off 7 straight points (80-78 Kings) in just a minute of play, but the Kings answered back with a 10-1 run of their own to go back up by 11. That was enough to put away the Celtics for good.
Thomas wasn't able to pull a rabbit out of his hat tonight, and the disgusting play all-around for the Celtics continued late into the 4th. The officials were awful overall all night for both teams so that didn't help the frustration either.
After 7 wins in a row the C's dropped the first game of their West Coast trip that continues tomorrow night in Portland against the Trailblazers.
Photo Credit - Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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Mark Allison 2/09/2017 01:00:00 AM Tweet Edit