Kings Defeat Celtics In Boston For First Time Since 2007
Sacramento went on a 17-5 run to end the game and pick up their second-straight win
Just when it looked like the Sacramento Kings season was on its last leg, signs of life have returned.
Trailing 91-90 with just over four minutes remaining, the Kings would go on an electrifying 17-5 run to claim a 107-96 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night at TD Garden.
With the win, Sacramento (17-24) snaps a 12-game losing streak in Boston, winning their first game in TD Garden since January 19, 2007.
As many know by now, the fourth quarter means that it’s time for De’Aaron Fox to punch that time card.
Fox scored 10 of his 29 points in the final period, including a huge and-one step-back jumper that would put Sacramento up 103-93 with just over a minute remaining, all but securing the team’s second-straight win.
The 23-year old guard has scored at least 28 points in six-straight games.
Richaun Holmes once again was a revelation, picking up two huge blocks down the stretch while posting his 15th double-double of the season.
The NBA’s leader in field goal percentage went on top the 20-point mark for the eighth time this season, finishing with 25 points on seven-of-11 from the field to go along with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Holmes drained his second three-point field goal of the season during the fourth quarter, banking in a triple as the shot clock expired to put Sacramento ahead 95-91 with just over three minutes remaining.
“When I shot it it felt good,” Holmes said after the game. “I didn’t call bank, but we’ll take it.”
Kings head coach Luke Walton joked after the game that he might have to give the 27-year-old more green lights to shoot triples as a negotiation tactic for when the center hits the free agent market this summer.
“A part of my negotiations to bring him back next year is to give him more green lights to shoot the three,” Walton said with a laugh when addressing the media postgame.
Holmes is having the best season of his career, proving to the league that he is one of the better centers in the league today.
‘Buddy Boston’ leads first half charge
Buddy Hield got off to a hot start on Friday, scoring 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter.
‘Buddy Buckets’ knocked down six of his 13 three-point field goal attempts to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in a solid all-around effort by the veteran guard.
Hield seems to enjoy playing in the TD Garden, seeing that he scored 41 points last season when the Kings faced the Celtics in Boston.
Sacramento would use a strong first half in which they shot 48-percent from the field and 47-percent from the three-point line to take a 55-45 lead heading into the halftime break.
The Kings defense held Boston to just 38-percent from the field in the first half, including forcing the Celtics into committing nine turnovers.
Boston, who at one point trailed by as many as 15 points, went on a run to end the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 82-81 heading into the final period.
With solid defense efforts by the closing lineup, Sacramento held the Celtics to 15 points in the fourth quarter–tying a season-low for an opponent’s point total in any quarter.
Trade Deadline Showcase?
With trade rumors continuing to swirl as the March 25th deadline approaches, Harrison Barnes put on quite a showcase for Boston general manager Danny Ainge on Friday night.
Barnes notched his third double-double of the season, scoring 15 points on five-of-10 shooting from the field to go along with a season-high 13 rebounds and three assists.
Boston, who has reportedly shown the most interest in the veteran forward, got a strong look at Barnes during Friday night’s action.
It has been rumored that new Kings GM Monte McNair could be holding onto both Barnes and Hield, with sources stating that the return from Boston would need to be “significant”.
While the Kings have been tabbed as ‘sellers’ during the deadline, after Friday’s win the team jumped up to 11th in the Western Conference, just three games out of the 10th seed spot with 31 games remaining in the season.
Looking for their third-straight win, Sacramento will play the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday night when they face the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers will be without MVP candidate and All-Star center Joel Embiid (knee) on Saturday, with Seth Curry (ankle) also being listed as out due to injury.
In their only meeting this season, Philadelphia was able to snap Sacramento’s four-game winning-streak on February 9th when they defeated the Kings by a final of 119-111 at Golden 1 Center.
Embiid (27 points, 17 rebounds, six assists) and Curry (22 points, four-of-six from three-point range) played a pivotal role in the win, making Saturday’s contest one to watch with both players sitting out.
You can find plenty of Kings vs 76ers coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, starting with pregame coverage at 4:30pm PST prior to tip-off at 5:00pm PST.