Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 95, Kings 120

Ford Keys to the Game

Celtics 95, Kings 120

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Paul Pierce, Travis Outlaw

Travis Outlaw ducks down to the floor as Paul Pierce defends him during Friday night's game in Sacramento.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

When the second half of tonight’s game between Boston and Sacramento began, the Kings came out hot, and the Celtics did not.

While Boston came out in the third quarter ice cold – they did not make a field goal until 7:26 remained in the period – Sacramento put on an offensive clinic. Simply put, the Kings starters dominated the Celtics starters and took control of the contest.

Marcus Thornton led the Kings in the third quarter with 14 points but was closely followed by 10 from Jason Thompson, nine from Isaiah Thomas and eight from DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento’s reserves did not score a point in the period, but they didn’t need to. The group of Kings starters combined to shoot 14-for-20 in the third for a ridiculous shooting percentage of 70.0 percent.

The 41-point outburst by Sacramento in the third quarter turned this from a one-point game at halftime to an absolute blowout. The Kings led 93-74 as the teams headed into the fourth quarter and Boston never cut that deficit down to less than 17 points from that point on.

If either team was expected to have a brutal defensive performance tonight, it would have to have been the Kings. They headed into this game ranked last in the league in both opponent scoring and opponent field goal percentage. Tonight, however, it was the Celtics who couldn’t get a stop. The Kings shot 53.5 percent in the game en route to a season-high 120 points. Sacramento won by a final score of 120-95.

Key Box Score Line

Three Kings starters scored at least 20 points tonight, but it was Marcus Thornton who turned in the best performance of the game. Thornton, who came into the contest leading Sacramento in scoring with 18.0 PPG, dropped a season-high 36 points on Boston.

The Celtics had no answers for the 6-foot-4 shooting guard. He scored in a variety of ways and finished the night shooting 13-of-24 from the field, including a 5-for-10 performance from downtown. Thornton also cashed in on five of his six free throws and chipped in four rebounds, four assists and five steals to boot.

It didn’t take long to figure out that this wasn’t Boston’s night. By the time the final buzzer sounded, we knew that it instead belonged to Thornton and the Kings.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Marcus Thornton scored 36 points, which fell six short of his career high 42-point game that was notched almost exactly a year ago on March 14, 2011.
  • Three Kings scored at least 20 points. They were Thornton (36), Jason Thompson (21) and DeMarcus Cousins (20).
  • Boston was outrebounded 45-28.
  • The Celtics committed 19 turnovers that led to 26 points for Sacramento.
  • Thornton grabbed a game-high five steals, more than double that of the next-highest total.
  • Thompson grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
  • Ray Allen led the Celtics in scoring with 26 points.
  • Thornton and Allen both shot 5-for-10 from 3-point range.
  • Thompson (21 points, 15 rebounds) and Isaiah Thomas (13 points, 10 assists) were the only players in the game to log a double-double.
  • Both teams attempted 21 free throws.
  • Sacramento scored at least 26 points in every quarter.
  • Kevin Garnett led the Celtics in rebounding with nine boards.
  • Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 12 assists but scored just four points and committed four turnovers.
  • Mickael Pietrus shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the field en route to his nine points.
  • The teams combined for 54 assists and 98 points in the paint.
  • Sacramento's 120 points was a season high total.