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Boston Celtics drop under .500 on the season after ugly 107-96 loss to Sacramento Kings

The Celtics dropped to under .500 on the season after the Sacramento Kings used a late 13-2 run to tug away late for a 107-96 win on the TD Backyard. De’Aaron Fox had a team-high 29 factors whereas Buddy Hield chipped in with 23 factors handy the Celtics their second straight loss and fourth of their final 5 video games for the reason that All-Star Break.

Jaylen Brown (19 factors, 11 rebounds) led 5 totally different gamers in double figures for the Celtics however Boston’s offense may get nothing going late towards the NBA’s worst protection, mustering simply 15 fourth quarter factors after rallying from a 15-point first half deficit to take the lead halfway via the ultimate interval earlier than Sacramento took command once more. Finally, some late chilly taking pictures and an absence of free throws (seven makes an attempt within the sport) prevented Boston from pulling off the comeback

4 observations from the defeat that dropped Boston to 20-21 on the 12 months.

Kemba Walker is in a taking pictures droop this month: Boston’s offense lacks constant secondary choices with the group’s present roster building and the group’s third possibility has regarded like an odd level guard in the course of the month of March. Walker completed with underneath 17 factors for the fifth straight sport, going an unsightly 3-of-10 from contained in the arc whereas being soundly outplayed by De’Aaron Fox within the head-to-head matchup.

Rob Williams and Jaylen Brown fueled a 3rd quarter rally: Boston got here out flat after halftime, however the tide modified as soon as Rob Williams was inserted into the sport with 5 minutes left within the body. From there, the Celtics closed out the quarter on a 27-15 run, fueled by eight factors from Williams and a few terrific all-around vitality from Brown who performed your complete body. Brown led the group in factors (10), rebounds (5) and assists (3) within the body, as Boston shot the lights out from the sphere (68 %) and 3-point vary (71 %) within the body, trimming the Kings’ deficit down to 1.

Boston’s pattern of sluggish begins continued: The Celtics dug themselves a giant first half gap towards the Cavs with some putrid offense and so they didn’t fare a lot better towards the NBA’s worst protection over the opening 24 minutes. Boston shot a woeful 37.5 % from the sphere, together with simply 38 % from 2-point vary within the first half and didn’t try their first free throw of the sport till there was six minutes left within the second quarter. In the meantime, Sacramento made 10 of their first 13 pictures to open the sport earlier than Boston’s protection tightened up however the hosts nonetheless dug themselves a 15-point gap within the opening 24 minutes, a well-known pattern for this group amid their sluggish begin after the All-Star Break that they had been unable to totally get well from.

The younger guys acquired precedence off the bench: After being the one wholesome DNP-CD on the 15-man roster towards the Cavs on Wednesday evening, Aaron Nesmith was the primary Celtic off the bench towards Sacramento, doubtlessly signaling a shift in philosophy for the teaching employees amid a rocky begin to the 12 months. Taking part in Boston’s youth was a steady theme all evening for the second unit as veterans Semi Ojeleye and Jeff Teague acquired DNP-CDs with extra minutes going to Payton Pritchard, Grant Williams and Rob Williams of their place. Boston didn’t get a lot of a scoring increase from this group, particularly early on (2-of-9 from area within the first half) however it was obvious the Celtics wish to see what they’ve with youthful expertise which have had some roadblocks of their approach for normal minutes. It wasn’t sufficient to beat a foul Kings group on Friday evening.

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