Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Celtics 132, Kings 109: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown combine for 63 points in bounce back win

The Celtics looked like the team that had the best record for the first 60 games of the season in their 132-109 victory over the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Jayson Tatum had 36 points on 14-of-25 from the field, to go along with eight rebounds, while Jaylen Brown scored 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting in a bounce back win for Boston after blowing a 19-point lead in a loss to the Utah Jazz Saturday.
"He just did a great job coming out of the gate," Joe Mazzulla said of Tatum. "I thought him and Jaylen did a great job controlling the game with their decision-making."
The All-Star duo combined for 6-of-14 from deep, eight assists and only two turnovers to lead the C's to a 50-23 record -- two games behind the first place Milwaukee Bucks (51-20) with nine left to play.

Derrick White recorded 20 points, 12 assists and Marcus Smart returned from a one-game absence to notch 17 points, seven assists for the Celtics -- who concluded their road trip at 4-2.

De'Aaron Fox finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 from the floor to lead the Kings, while Domontas Sabonis clinched a triple-double of 16 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.  Rookie Keegan Murray chipped in 15 points for Sacramento who fell to 43-29 out west.

Boston held the Kings to 22 second quarter points, ending the first half on a 13-2 spurt to take a 60-54 advantage into the break, before hitting 10 of their first 11 shot attempts to open up the third.

White's 3-pointer with 6:24 remaining in the quarter put the Celtics ahead 87-73 (the largest margin up to that point) on their way to a 40-point third period.

Another White 3-pointer with 5:51 left to play in the fourth capped a 16-10 run for Boston, as the Kings began to empty their bench and the deficit grew to 27 following a Sam Hauser 3-pointer in another 10-4 spurt to put the game away in the final 2:37.

Robert Williams (six points, seven rebounds) returned to play 21 minutes off the bench after missing the past eight outings with a left hamstring injury.

Boston, playing their fifth game in seven days, shot 49-of-92 from the floor, including 18-of-44 from 3-point range and only turned the ball over a total of five times.
"I was pleased with the mindset," Mazzulla said. "The most important thing is we managed the turnovers. We have to maintain a level of perspective. This was a hard road trip."
The Celtics return to TD Garden after their six-game road trip over the past two weeks to host the Indiana Pacers (32-40) Friday night. NBA TV has the tip-off at 7:00 ET.

Game Notes:

Boston was 53.3% from the field, including 40.9% from behind the arc, while the Kings were 48.1% from the floor and 17-of-44 (38.6%) from long distance. The Celtics won the battle of the boards 43-42 and points in the paint 56-38. The C's dished out 33 assists on 49 baskets to the Kings' 25 dimes (14 turnovers) on 39 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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