Following a stunning victory Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics continued their recent hot streak with a 128-119 win against the defenseless Sacramento Kings.
Coming into Super Bowl Sunday, the Kings allowed 116.7 points in six out of their seven previous games. The Celtics capitalized against a porous Kings defense by winning their seventh straight home game and ninth out of their last 10 overall.
The win moved the Celtics nine games over .500 (31-22) for the first time since the Doc Rivers era.
“Whenever you get a chance to run up and down and move the ball like we did tonight, it’s fun,” guard Avery Bradley said after his 25 points helped the Celtics to a season-high points total. “And not only that, we were making shots. When everybody’s making shots, everybody’s happy.”
The Boston Celtics started with a 46-point first quarter, the most by an NBA team in a opening quarter this season. They finished the opening half with 74 points, the first time they’d done that since 2009.
While the game was an efficient follow-up to their surprising victory against the Cavaliers, the C’s were rather unenthusiastic about the win.
They nearly blew a 21-point lead in the third-quarter, allowing the Kings to get as close as five points with 1:40 remaining in the third. They also became careless with the ball, committing a season high 24-turnovers overall.
However, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who turned 27 on Sunday, secured the victory by scoring nine points out the Celtics final 13 points to clinch the game.
“They’re a huge run team,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of the Kings. “And I thought Isaiah did a great job at the end of helping to put it away.”
Kings forward, Demarcus Cousins, led all scorers with 31 points, with 14 coming in the 4th quarter. However, he showed flaws as well, including a technical fouls and questionable defense.
Former Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo returned to TD Garden for the second time since Boston traded him to Dallas on Dec. 18, 2014, and he totaled 14 points, 15 assists, 5 rebounds, and 6 steals in 39 minutes.
Asked after the game about Thomas, Rondo said, “Obviously, he’s the guy. He’s the All-Star of the team. They have a lot of glue guys that make the guy go, but the plays he’s able to make out there especially at his height (5 foot 9), it’s hard. He’s been unstoppable this year.”
Just like the candles he’ll blow out after the game, Thomas blew out the Kings to secure the victory for the Celtics on his birthday. While he enjoys the special day, he’ll look to lead Celtic’s “unstoppable” trend as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.