Celtics Knock Out Kings in Third, Win 119-95

That the Sacramento Kings struggled to keep the Boston Celtics from lighting up the scoreboard is little surprise; the Celtics, while erratic at times on offense, have two brilliant scorers in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and the most dedicated set-up man in the league in Rajon Rondo. (I'd consider Steve Nash to be Rondo's equal in loyalty to the pass, but Nash, unfortunately, has no one but Jared Dudley left to pass the ball to.) When Boston's offense falters, it's because they refuse to fast break, or fast break to recklessly and turnover the ball. Against the Kings, there was no need to worry about either of those items.

Because you can break on the Kings, thanks to Sacramento's penchant for bad passes and worse shots. And you're not often going to fail to convert a fast break against the Kings, thanks to Sacramento's repeated inability to consistently rotate back in transition. Ergo, Boston would have no problem scoring, and had no problem scoring. The Celtics shot 52 percent from the floor and hit 12-20 on three-pointers on their way to 119 points.

The Kings actually shot well on two-pointers; Carl Landry has been tough lately, really filling up the peach basket on shots in the paint. He had 17 points, a team-high, in just 22 minutes. Foul trouble limited his floor time, unfortunately; still, this is the Landry that Houston had the benefit of using. DeMarcus Cousins was again ineffective, just 3-9 with five turnovers; he hasn't had the best road trip. Perhaps the light and fluffy Knicks on Friday will help him swing back into success.

Sacramento committed 23 turnovers. Five each for Cousins and, inexplicably, Jermaine Taylor. Pooh Jeter wasn't perfect, but with four assists and one miscue he bumped his January ratio to 35 assists and seven turnovers.

The Kings are now 2-13 on the road, and have lost 12 straight away from ARCO Arena. Opponents shoot 46 percent against the Kings at ARCO and 50 percent against Sacramento when the Kings are on the road. That's not a unique problem -- every team seems to play better on offense and defense at home than on the road -- but it's weird.

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