Notebook: Celtics 99, Kings 81



Posted Jan 30, 2013 11:31 PM

By Brian Robb, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Boston Celtics shot 63 percent in the first half, which allowed them to pull away early and cruise to a 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings. It was the second straight win for the Celtics (22-23) without All-Star Rajon Rondo, who is sidelined for the season with a torn ACL. Without their floor general, Boston relied on ball movement and a balanced offensive effort. Six players finished in double figures, led by Paul Pierce (16 points, 10 rebounds). Tyreke Evans had 19 points for the Kings (17-30), who have now dropped five of their last six games.

QUOTABLE: "That's how we have to play, overall. Just simple, good basketball; pass the ball, move the ball. I thought everybody just played their role and played great."

-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

THE STAT: The Celtics hit their first 14 shot attempts of second quarter, and finished the frame shooting a sizzling 80 percent (16-for-20) from the field, which resulted in a 37-point outburst in the period.

TURNING POINT: After trailing by two at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics came out in the second quarter and played nearly flawless basketball on both sides of the floor. Boston opened the first six minutes of the frame on a 24-7 run against a Kings squad that provided little resistance on the defensive end of the floor, building a double-digit lead they would not relinquish.

QUOTABLE II: "It's been an adjustment for me playing in this system, but I'm getting more and more comfortable. And, again, with this style that we're playing now, I think it's a little more conducive to my game."

-- Jason Terry on the Celtics' offense without Rondo

HOT: Terry -- Boston's sixth man broke out of a shooting slump in January to hit an efficient five of his seven shot attempts, including both attempts from downtown. He finished with 12 points in 22 minutes.

NOT: Isaiah Thomas -- Facing some feisty defense from childhood friend Avery Bradley, Thomas failed to find easy opportunities at the rim and on the perimeter. The point guard missed 8 of his 10 shots, while scoring just eight points on the evening, three below his season average.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Evans -- The fourth-year guard finished with his first double-double of the season and added two assists and three steals to his 19 points and 11 rebounds. Evans has now scored in double digits in nine of his past ten games.

QUOTABLE III: "If you look at the rest of the game, we played a pretty decent game, but we couldn't make up for that ground we gave up in the second quarter."

-- Kings coach Keith Smart

ROOKIE WATCH: Thomas Robinson -- The fifth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft continues to put together the strongest month of his career, as he posted 11 points and four rebounds in the setback. Those 11 points are one short of his career high and Robinson's fifth double-digit scoring effort of the month.

NOTABLE: Jared Sullinger left the game in the first quarter with back spasms. He did not return. Sullinger dealt with chronic back problems throughout his college career. ... The Celtics improved to 4-3 without Rondo this season. ... With the victory, Boston and Sacramento split the season series. ...Kings dropped to 11-11 against the Eastern Conference. ... Garnett passed Gary Payton for 8th on all-time NBA minutes played list.

UP NEXT: For Sacramento, Friday @ Philadelphia, Saturday @ New York, Monday @ Utah. For Boston, Friday vs. Orlando, Sunday vs. LA Clippers, Wednesday @ Toronto.