Shorthanded Celtics fall to Kings 105-98 as Brad Stevens is ejected

Playing without Rajon Rondo (rest), Jared Sullinger (mild concussion) and Avery Bradley (ankle), what remained of the Boston Celtics lost a physical game to the Sacramento Kings, 105-98. The Kings were led by Rudy Gay (22 points, 7 rebounds) and Isaiah Thomas (21 points, 12 assists), while Boston was fueled by Jeff Green (29 points, 6 rebounds) and Kris Humphries (19 points, 8 boards). The loss dropped the Celtics to 0-12 vs the Western Conference on the road this season, with only three chances (at the Jazz, Hornets and Mavericks) left to avoid their first ever winless season on the road vs the opposite Conference.

For much of the first three quarters of this game, the effort was there, but the talent simply was not. Green missed his first eight shots and the Celtics trailed by as many as 16 just before the halftime break.

But give the Celtics this -- they fought. With a nine man team, and a double-digit deficit they did not pack it in, instead fighting all the way back to tie the game at 85 apiece in the fourth quarter. The Celtics appeared to get screwed by the refs deciding not to give DeMarcus Cousins a second technical foul after he screamed at the officials and shoved Humphries with six minutes left. Instead, Humphries was called for a personal and the intimated refs let Cousins get away with it, and the Kings went on a run to pull away.

Late in this one with the game decided, the impossible happened: Brad Stevens got ejected. According to Mike Gorman, Stevens did not swear, and barely raised his voice..yet he got the hook. So yea, the refs allowed Cousins to shove/elbow Humphries and scream at them, but drew the line at Stevens saying he was unhappy. Awesome job guys!

Looking at the bright side, this loss helped the Celtics hop the Kings and jump into fourth place in the tank rank. With 25 games to go the Celtics are still in very good shape to get a great draft pick.

Next game: Monday vs the 19-36 Jazz, in another crucial draft position match-up. Sullinger is unlikely to play, while Rondo will be back in the line-up.

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