The Sacramento Kings rolled into New England for their third game on a six-game road trip to play the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
With John Salmons out with the flu, Francisco Garcia would take his place in the starting line-up. Garcia scored 15 of his 17 points in the second quarter of the Kings’ 96-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Avery Bradley would start at point guard for the Celtics after losing All-Star Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL.
The Kings started the game ice cold after the Celtics started the game on a 12-4 run. The Kings recovered by outscoring the Celtics 20-10 the rest of the first quarter and led 24-22.
Then, the nightmare began.
The Boston Celtics went on a tear in the second quarter, scoring their first 14 baskets in the quarter and shooting 16-for-20 from the field in that period. Boston outscored the Kings 37-14 in the second quarter for a 59-38 lead at the half.
The Kings didn’t gain much ground to in the second half and outscored Boston 43-40 in the second half, but the Celtics walked off with 99-81 win.
Tyreke Evans had 19 points, 11 rebounds and three steals for his first double-double of the season. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 13 points and six rebounds and Isaiah Thomas added eight points
Paul Pierce had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Celtics (22-23) and Kevin Garnett had 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Jason Terry, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass scored 12 points each.
After turning the ball over just one time in the first quarter, the Kings (17-30) committed 18 turnovers in the remaining three quarters. Kings coach Keith Smart said in his opening statement that the Celtics’ second quarter play and his team’s turnovers were big factors in the loss:
We played a pretty good basketball game except for the second quarter … and turned the basketball over (seven times) in that quarter and ended up with 19 turnovers and 27 points off those turnovers, but look at the rest of the game. We played a pretty decent game, but you couldn’t make up that ground that you gave up in that second quarter.
The Kings will play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PST.
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Keith Smart Postgame Interview