These two teams won’t see each other anymore this season but they produced two quality games that went down to the final seconds in both. This time around, the Kings got the short end of the stick and lose by one. Buddy Hield’s shot came back today and he could not be stopped, despite some questionable defense by Boston to leave him open on some occasions. A franchise record of 11 threes for Hield topped with 41 points fell short and the Kings go to 7-9 on the season.
Despite a relatively low scoring affair in the first 12 minutes, the Kings came out with energy on both ends to get easy baskets. Both teams are dealing with their fair share of injuries, but the Kings are playing great through it. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings with seven points on 3-5 shooting, including one three. Nemanja Bjelica fed Bogi beautifully with a no-look pass as Bogi split through three defenders who were caught sleeping. Richaun Holmes had a monster block from behind and a monster one-handed dunk. Jayson Tatum scored five to lead Boston as the Kings led 22-19.
The first half of the second quarter went Sacramento’s way, as the opened to a 17-9 run. Harrison Barnes had 14 points on 4-4 shooting, knocking down threes and drawing fouls. Buddy also made a three while being smacked across the head. The Celtics responded with a 10-2 run as the Kings couldn’t score anymore and eventually tied it up at 41. Boston ended the half on a 25-7 run to lead 53-46. Sacramento already had 11 turnovers with shots failing to drop. Barnes led the way with 14 on 4-6 shooting. Bogi shot 4-11 overall and 1-6 from deep for nine points. Buddy had added 11 on 4-10 shooting overall and 3-9 from three. Nemanja Bjelica went scoreless in the half as he couldn’t hit any looks, going 0-5 overall (0-4 from three). Overall, the Kings went 6-24 from three despite getting many open looks. The Celtics had the same percentage from deep on 4-16 shooting, but scored in the paint with ease (28-16 advantage), capitalized on turnovers (14 points off them), and got out in the fast break (11-4 advantage).
Sacramento opened the third on a 9-2 run. Buddy Hield made a three coming off a screen on an inbounds play and later took it to the rim and scored over Enes Kanter. Speaking of Kanter, he had multiple nonsense calls go his away. A five step travel was ignored and he was granted an and-1 opportunity. Then in the third, he flopped to the floor with Holmes’ arm locked inside his and Holmes received the foul. Four fouls on Holmes took him out of the game. Bjelica finally made his first basket on a turnaround half-hook along the baseline. Hield scored 19 points in the quarter to take his total to 30 after another three. Hield ended with 32 points as the game was tied at 75. Hield was 8-17 from deep. Jaylen Brown scored 20 for the Celtics as the Kings struggled to stop him in the quarter.
The fourth quarter saw Harry Giles make an appearance. He had four steals, one steal and a block. The Celtics lived at the free throw line in the quarter and then both teams went back and forth. Hield made multiple big threes and so did Bogi, but the Celtics always had an answer. When the Kings had a chance to take the lead, they turned it over which was a problem all game. Sacramento had the final say to win it, but a Bogi shot didn’t go in and this time, the close edge was with Boston.
Buddy Hield started slow, but could not miss as the game went along. Big shot after big shot to keep the Kings in the game, but ultimately the potential game-winning shot went to Bogi but it didn’t fall. Hield finished with 41 points on 15-26 shooting and 11-21 from three. He added five rebounds, two assists and one block.
Harrison Barnes came out strong against Washington and that fell over today as he finished with 20 points, three rebounds, one assist and one block. Barnes has been drawing fouls many times lately, but missed some that should’ve went in (7-10).
Bogd,..an Bogdanovic led the bench in scoring with 13 points, but his shot was off all game. He finished 5-20 overall and 2-13 from three, but did nail a huge three with under a minute remaining. He added eight assists, one rebound and one block.
The Kings were 18-47 from three (38.3%). They struggled to score in the paint and looked for threes to get their points.
Sacramento was 10-15 from the stripe (66.7%). They need to be more consistent with them. They’ll shoot 90% one game, then fall to the 70’s the next.
Celtics won the rebound battle 38-36 but the Kings had more assists at 28-20. Having 28 assists on 37 made shots is solid.
The Kings had 17 turnovers and the Celtics scored 14 points off of them. The second half was much better, but a turnover under a minute can’t happen.
Boston dominated the points in the paint battle 50-26.
The Kings end the road trip against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PST. The 76ers will be coming off a loss to Toronto.