Photo credit: @SacramentoKings
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO — Sunday was going to be a test for the Sacramento Kings. Their Sunday opponent was the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have started out the season 10-1 and were on a 10-game win streak. It has been well-documented how the Kings started their season. However, the Kings have played much better as of late. The Kings were 4-7 on the year and looking for an upset at home. The tip-off was set for 12:30 PM PST in Sacramento.
The Kings played one of the best quarters of the season to open up the game. Led by Buddy Hield and Nemanja Bjeilica, who had 9 and 7 points, respectively, the Kings would jump out to an early lead 30-18. Leading the way for the Celtics was Jaylen Brown, who had a Celtics-leading 6 points heading into the second quarter. The Kings played really well throughout the opening quarter. The key for the Kings has been the defensive play. When the Kings play good defense, the rest seems to fall into place.
In the second quarter, the Kings didn’t play as well but part of that has to be contributed to the Celtics hitting their shots. Leading the way for the Celtics in the second was Semi Ojeleye. Semi had 8 points in the second to help bring the Celtics closer to the Kings. Going into halftime, the Kings remained in the lead at 50-46. Buddy Hield continued his good play finishing the half at 16 points. Headed into the second half the Kings were looking to keep the game under their control and not let the Celtics flip the script.
In the second half, the Kings were looking to stay on track. It would turn out to be a fairly competitive back and forth third quarter. The Kings didn’t melt down, which has been an issue in the third this year. However, they were unable to maintain the lead. The Celtics managed to put up 29 points in the third compared to the Kings’ 21 to take a 75-71. Buddy Hield continued his torrid stretch from the field, adding 11 points to his total in the third.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Kings had a shot to win the game against one of the best teams in the NBA. Both teams would trade baskets and keep even through the quarter. The game would come down to the final few minutes of action. With 36 seconds left in the game, the Kings’ Buddy Hield threw the ball out of bounds to make it 99-98 Celtics with the ball. The Celtics were unable to score and Marcus Smart had a foul on the Kings’ Holmes. He made both his free throws and the Celtics failed to score on the other end for a Kings win.
It was a great victory for the Kings, who snapped the Celtics’ win streak and improved to 5-7 on the year. The next game for the Kings will be Tuesday against the Suns at home. Game time set for 7:00 PM PST.