So far, the Boston Celtics’ six-game highway journey has been about mercurial as you possibly can have anticipated. They’ve picked up high quality wins in opposition to Minnesota and Portland, however on the similar time, dropped winnable contests in opposition to Houston and Utah as properly. A 4-2 stretch of video games (relationship again to their March 8 blowout over the Blazers) feels prefer it might have been a 6-0 one, if not for a couple of dangerous breaks.
For his or her final exhibiting previous to their return to Boston, the Celtics confronted off with Sacramento Kings — the third seed within the Western Convention, coming into the night time’s motion. They walked away with their finest win of the whole journey, distancing themselves within the third quarter and scoring a cushty win over the Western Convention contenders, 132-109.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the best way with a pair of robust performances, scoring 36 and 27 respectively, and the Celtics welcomed Robert Williams III again to the lineup, who infused a transparent impression throughout his 21 minutes off the bench. For the Kings, Domantas Sabonis recorded a triple-double, 16-13-12, and 6 of their common rotation gamers scoring in double figures, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to beat the Celtics’ finest all-around efficiency in a while.
It was all buckets, on a regular basis within the early minutes of this sport. Each offenses noticed the ball flying from participant to participant, resulting in a number of lovely offensive possession in a sequence within the early moments of the sport. The distinction arose when Sacramento’s three-pointers discovered the underside of the online, however Boston’s, largely, didn’t. The Kings hit six of their first 15 makes an attempt (40%), whereas the Celtics scuffled for a lot of the body. Late within the quarter, although, Tatum got here alive, connecting on a pair of threes — bettering the Celtics’ three-point proportion all the best way to 26.7% — and slicing the Sacramento result in simply two factors coming into the second quarter, 32-30.
The gap capturing caught up with every little thing else as the sport wore on. Boston’s shooters got here alive within the third quarter, connecting on seven threes as a part of a livid optimistic regression that helped set up a major Celtic lead. Each groups have thrived off of high-tempo play this season, and every shot higher than 50% from the sphere and 40% from three on the night time. The Celtics had been the uncommon group to look to have an edge over a Kings offense that has been the NBA’s finest this season, although. A 40-point third quarter drove them to a 15-point lead coming into the ultimate body, 100-85.
Among the many outstanding variations between the 2 groups tonight was the turnover battle, which the Celtics received handily, 14-5, on the night. The Kings actually scored effectively, however an opportunistic Boston protection value them sufficient possessions to create a bonus. Each groups additionally shot notably poorly from the free throw line — every shot worst than 70% from the free throw line, together with a 6-of-11 from Tatum.
The fourth quarter kicked off with the Celtics firmly within the driver’s seat. However whereas the Kings managed to place themselves into the bonus halfway by way of the quarter after a sequence of Boston fouls, they by no means made any significant inroads into the Celtic lead. Tatum slammed house a dunk with three minutes to play, placing the Celtics forward 123-99, and Joe Mazzulla lastly emptied the bench to coast the remainder of the best way to the win.
Subsequent up, the Celtics will, mercifully, return house. They’ll face off with the Indiana Pacers on Friday on the TD Backyard, at 7 PM EST on NBA TV.