Shorthanded Celtics blow very early lead, lose to Kings 109-101
Bradley's circus shot that somehow went in in the fourth quarter was highlight reel material.
The Celtics looked like they were going to dominate the Kings in the first quarter when they were leading 27-11. Well, that impression didn't last long as the Kings went on a 17-0 run, took the lead and managed to disrupt any effort by the Celtics to come back. Nonetheless it was an entertaining game, and the short-handed Celtics (Sully and Olynyk injured, Thornton and Prince traded, Thomas not available yet) did their best to win this one. They even played super-small ball at some point with Gerald Wallace at 5. Yeah, that happened.
It looked like George Karl and the Kings ownership will be on the same page as the Kings really tried to push the tempo the whole night. Of course that meant turnovers for a team that is not clicking yet, and the Celtics had a field day on points off the Kings' 23 turnovers. 35 points off turnovers might be a season-high number for the Celtics.
The Celtics' starters were on fire tonight. Tyler Zeller has been really impressive for the Celtics so far, but man, 22 points and 6 assists? That's just unbelievable. Avery Bradley had a great shooting night with 28 points (12-22 shooting), but he also had 6 assists and 4 steals. Oh, but he didn't lead the team in steals because Marcus Smart had 5 of them along with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Brandon Bass had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. And if you can ignore the turnovers column, Evan Turner's 7 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals was impressive. But yeah, he also committed 45% of all the Celtics TOs tonight, so there is that.
The bench, on the other hand, was... Whatever. But SHAVLIK IS BACK with 2 points and 4 rebounds in just 6 minutes. That amounts to 12 points and 24 rebounds in 36 minutes!
Sullinger's injury is bad news for playoff hopefuls, but the Celtics are playing great defense and are really, really fun to watch. I can't wait for Isaiah Thomas to join this team on Sunday. Really fun games await the fans no matter what the outcome is in the end.