Second straight loss for the Kings, who this time were forced to surrender to the extraordinary heat stroke of the Celtics at TD Garden after halftime.
Boston started the game very well, developing their basketball with confidence and application. In particular, there was a 15-2 that was characterized by the long missiles of Derrick White and Al Horford which gave the locals a quick lead (15-6). While Jaylen Brown gradually gained strength, his alter-ego Jayson Tatum capped the first successful performance of his own with a sharp dunk in transition (36-22).
The tone was set, but Sacramento didn’t give up. De’Aaron Fox worked hard to get his team back on track, and an 11-2 finish by Domantas Sabonis followed to make the score 51-47. It was then the Lithuanian’s turn to hit a big dunk to formalize Sacramento’s return to business before halftime (64-62).
While a tight second half seemed imminent, Boston eventually managed to pull it off at the expense of an extraordinary run, a 19-0 run between the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth! For the Kings, who took control (78-84), it was a tidal wave that fell on their defense in just over three minutes. Scorer of 14 points during the period, Jayson Tatum played a big role there, between his long-sighted passes to Malcolm Brogdon or Luke Kornet for an alley-oop, and his final two baskets to end the third period, including a 3 points registered with the board!
The series ended at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer from Sam Hauser (97-84). It was a rude awakening for Sacramento, which was unable to recover. Jaylen Brown then took control of operations to lead Boston to a victory (122-104), the C’s 15th of the season.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– A sparing series. Sacramento arrived at TD Garden with ambition, and the first half confirmed that Mike Brown’s team had a case to upset the Celtics. As the match gradually turned to the side of the Californians, Boston got off to a life-saving start with this 19-0 run that changed everything. The series reflected Boston’s best face, when big players controlled and freed up opportunities for role players. Sacramento never recovered.
– Significant end of periods. Each end of the quarter was marked by a spectacular action that symbolized the momentum in favor of one team or the other, depending on the moment of the game. There was that furious Jayson Tatum dunk to end a successful Celtics first act. That of Domantas Sabonis at the end of the second quarter was not bad in style either. We can also add De’Aaron Fox’s 2+1, all in control, just before halftime. Boston took control at the end of the third quarter and a new strong action celebrated the occasion: a 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum that ignited the meeting and strengthened the locals in their demonstration. So much so that the tension flew away very quickly in the last act…
✅ Jayson Tatum. Scored 14 points in the third quarter to tip the game in Boston’s favor, and more generally finished a boss game with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. All with relatively little waste in the end.
✅ Derrick White. The impact of the “role players” was decisive for Boston that night. Many of them showed up (Al Horford, Sam Hauser, Malcolm Brogdon, Payton Pritchard), but Derrick White was undoubtedly the most productive, with 3 steals to accompany his 16 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds.
⛔️Le tandem Monk-Huerter. Speaking of “role players”, these two have been highlighted frequently since the Kings’ strong start to the season. On the other side, they completely missed it, especially on the outside, going 1/6 for Malik Monk and 0/6 for Kevin Huerter. We can also add Keegan Murray and his 1/8 shooting. Delivering for the kings on the lands of the leader of the Eastern Conference.
Celtics (15-4): Boston continues hosting Washington this Sunday (midnight)
Kings (10-8): Return to California for Sacramento to host Phoenix Monday night (4:00 p.m.).