By Charlie O. Mallonee
If the Sacramento Kings (7-9) had emailed their performance in on Monday night versus the Boston Celtics (12-4), no one would have criticized them. They were facing the Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back on the road after winning a very tough game over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
The Kings didn’t just sleepwalk through the game on Monday night. They came out looking for a win which would mean they would sweep the season series with the mighty Celtics. In the end, the Kings would come up one point short, but they put themselves in a position to win the game.
Luke Walton was not unhappy with his team
Luke Walton said in his postgame comments that all you can ask of your team in the second game of a back-to-back on the road is to put themselves in a position to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Walton said his team did that but came up just short.
With 5.7 seconds to go in the game, Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Bogdan Bogdanovic. “Bogi” put up a 3-point shot with 3.0-seconds remaining. The ball hit the back of the rim and one of the Kings in the lane put the rebound back up, but it went over the backboard. Time expired and Boston won the game 103-102.
Record-setting night for Buddy Hield
“Buddy Love” set a franchise record by sinking 11 three-point buckets on Monday night. The previous record was held by Mike Bibby who connected on nine 3-point shots on March 25, 2007, versus Phoenix.
Hield also set a personal record by scoring 41 points in the game. He shot 15-for-26 from the floor and went 11-for-21 from downtown. Hield also had five rebounds and two assists.
Spotlight on the Kings
This game featured 22 lead changes and seven ties. The Kings held the largest lead of the game – 11 points in the second quarter. The Celtics built up a 53-46 lead at halftime. After the game, Luke Walton felt his team’s play in the final six minutes of the first half is where they lost the game.
- Harrison Barnes put 20 points in the scorebook. He went 7-for-10 from the free throw line.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic added 13 points but had a tough night shooting. He went 5-for-20 from the field and 2-for-13 from 3-point land. “Bogi” did dish out eight assists.
- No other player on the Kings scored in double figures.
- Sacramento hit 37 of 78 (46.8%) shots from the floor in Boston.
- The Kings went 18-for-47 (38.3%) from behind the 3-point arc.
- This was the Kings downfall: they only went to the free throw line 15 times. They converted 10 of those opportunities, but that number of attempts should have been at least 25. Sacramento could have won the game at the charity stripe.
- The Kings were destroyed in the paint. The Celtics outscored Sacramento 50-26 down low in the game. That just can not happen.
Focus on Boston
Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double figures:
- Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 24 points.
- Jayson Tatum put up 20 points shooting 7-for-18 from the floor.
- Enes Kanter added 13 points and nine rebounds.
- The Celtics hit 20 of 23 (87.0%) attempts from the free throw line. That was the key to their victory.
- Boston shot 44.7% (38/85) from the floor.
- The Celts hit just 7 of 30 (23.3%) from downtown.
The Kings wrap up their four-game road trip on Wednesday in Philly versus the 76ers.
Boston hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night before they sit down to turkey dinner.