The Celtics took the floor at Golden 1 Center down another player but with a familiar face back in the starting lineup.
Jaylen Brown (concussion) was cleared to play on a minute-restriction and Boston's offense erupted in the second half of a 104-93 win over the Kings. But it wasn't Brown's play that led the show, it was Terry Rozier's career-night that propelled the Celtics to win their third straight, as the third-year guard flirted with franchise history.
Rozier connected on 8-of-12 from deep on his way to a career-high 33 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 steals and three assists. He nearly tied former Celtics Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker's single-game record of nine made 3-pointers in one game.
"If I knew that, I would've shot five more 3s," Rozier said after the game. [Celtics.com]The Kings finished the opening frame with a 27-24 lead. Sacramento, the second-best 3-point shooting team also gives up the most the most from deep, proved its identity in the first half -- where they allowed six 3-pointers and drained five.
Still, behind a 10-3 run, they managed to pull ahead by 12 (44-36) midway through the second quarter. Rozier (14) and Jayson Tatum (12) combined for 26 of Boston's 52 first-half points as the C's trailed by eight at the break. Buddy Hield led the Kings with 14.
But the Celtics came roaring back in the third quarter. In the midst of an 18-2 run, Rozier connected on three treys which turned the game into a six-point Boston lead, yet, the Kings only trailed the Celtics by two before the start of the final frame.
Buddy Hield scored a team-high 21 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, and Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein each scored 14 points for the Kings.
However, Rozier wasn't done. He continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter -- leading an 8-0 Celtics run that pushed Boston's lead into double figures (97-86) as he topped off a 19-point second half outburst.
Brown was also aggressive offensively, scoring 19 points in 25 minutes and Al Horford was efficient, turning in 14 points on 6-of-10 attempts to go with his 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Boston's starting unit shot a combined 66 percent from the floor.
"You talk to a lot of guys on the opposing teams and they're always talking about our offense and stuff like that, and it's tough to guard," Rozier said. "So they put us in the right position no matter who we've got out there, to get the shots that we need to win the game." [Celtics.com]The C's will look to win their fourth in a row on Monday against the Suns when they continue their four-game road trip at Phoenix.
Boston shot 55.6 percent from the floor Sunday night. They outscored the Kings, 52-33 in the second half, while holding Sacramento to just 15 fourth-quarter points.
Photo used is courtesy of Getty Images
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