Notebook: Kings 118, Celtics 96



Posted Dec 31, 2012 1:01 AM

By James Ham, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The road weary Boston Celtics finished their three game trip out west on a low note, getting lambasted by the Sacramento Kings by 22 in front of more than 15,000 cheering fans by the final score of 118-96.

Isaiah Thomas cut through the Celtics defense with ease, finishing with 27 points and five assists on the night. Jason Thompson anchored the post for the Kings, coming away with a 20-point, six rebound game, while John Salmons had an efficient 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Not to be forgotten was DeMarcus Cousins who tallied his first career triple-double for the 11-19 Kings.

Paul Pierce tried to get the Celtics going in the fourth, but it was too little, too late. The veteran wing finished with 20 points, but seven of those came in the final quarter as the Kings were putting the Celtics away. Kevin Garnett added a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double and Jason Terry finished with 20 points in the loss.

QUOTABLE: "We just had their number today. We played a great game as a team and we were very unselfish. That usually happens when you're unselfish and you're playing aggressive -- things start to open up."
--Thomas on the Kings big win.

THE STAT: The Sacramento Kings shot an amazing 9--for-14 from 3-point land in the second half as they pounded the Boston Celtics. For the fourth consecutive game, the Kings finished with 28 assists or more, after never reaching that mark through the teams first 26 games.

TURNING POINT: After a competitive first half, the Kings turned up the pace in the second half and ran the Celtics out of the building. The Kings led by five at the half, pushed that lead to 11 after three quarters and then blew out the Celtics 34-23 in the final period.

QUOTABLE II: "I couldn't have done it without my teammates, because they made the shots."
-- Cousins on his first career triple-double and a career-high 10 assists.

HOT: Jason Thompson and Jason Terry carried their respective teams in the first half. Thompson finished with 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting and added five rebounds. Terry went 5-for-7 from the field and 2-for-3 from distance for 14 big points before the break.

NOT: Marcus Thornton was completely blanked in the first half, going 0-4 from the field in 14 minutes of action. A little over four minutes into the third quarter, Thornton went down in a heap while hitting a 3-point attempt and getting fouled. He was helped to the locker room and did not return. The initial diagnosis from the Kings is a sprained left ankle.

GOOD MOVE: With Thornton ailing, Smart called on Salmons to carry some of the scoring load and slow Terry. The veteran answered the bell, scoring a season-high 23 points on the night.

BAD MOVE: The Celtics looked tired and slow. When the Kings started running in the second half, Boston had no answer at all.

NOTABLE: Cousins notched his first triple-double of his career, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 31 minutes. The last triple-double for the Kings came on March 28, 2010, when Beno Udrih dropped 18 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

UP NEXT: For the Celtics, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday vs. Indiana, Saturday @ Hawks. For the Kings, Tuesday @ Pistons, Wednesday @ Cavs, Friday @ Raptors.