Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Celtics 113, Kings 86

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown? Pft. Who needs them?

The Celtics sure didn’t Wednesday night, because their bench had things under control against the Kings.

Four reserves and Jayson Tatum banded together to turn a deficit into a double-digit lead in the span of only three minutes and 48 seconds.

The group of five included Tatum, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Semi Ojeleye and Daniel Theis. Every single one of them contributed to the 15-1 run that altered the direction of this game.

Theis was the man who got it all started with a play must that have earned him a Tommy Point. He caught the ball along the left side of the paint and immediately fired a strike over to Ojeleye, who was wide open in the right corner of the court. Ojeleye missed his 3-point attempt from in front of Boston’s bench, but Theis was there to grab the rebound.

That wasn’t his last offensive board on this offensive possession.

Theis went up for a quick layup off the board but was rejected by Kosta Koufos. The blocked shot fell directly onto Koufos’ head, but the big man failed to corral the loose ball. Theis, meanwhile, continued his relentless pursuit, and he wound up pulling the ball in and going up for an easy layup on the left side of the rim.

The rest of the group followed suit after witnessing Theis’ energy. Marcus Smart earned two free throws, both of which were converted, then threw an alley-oop to Theis for a loud slam to make it 35-30 Celtics. Rozier then took it to the rack for a driving floater, and Ojeleye canned a 3 from the right wing off of a pass from Smart.

Tatum added in two free throws after Sacramento made one of its own, and then Rozier sank a turnaround, fadeaway jumper to close out Boston’s run.

Boy, did the starters have to love watching that run play out. Their bench pretty much handed off a win to them when they returned to action.

Boston trailed 31-29 prior to the spurt, but led 44-31 and took control of the game. Their lead never dropped to single-digits from that point on as they cruised to a 113-86 victory.

Key Player

Jaylen Brown was nearly perfect Wednesday night, and that’s a literal statement.

Brown suffered what appeared to be a mild ankle sprain late in the third quarter and checked out of the contest with 2:10 remaining in the frame. Still, he managed to pour in 22 points on a ridiculous 7-for-8 shooting performance. He missed only one shot attempt, a 3-pointer, and made five of his six attempts from long distance on the night.

What’s craziest about this performance is that all four of Brown’s initial scoring plays were three-point plays; he canned two shots from beyond the arc, and converted on two and-one plays, one off of a dunk and one off of a jumper.

Additionally, Brown contributed six rebounds and an assist during his 24 minutes and 41 seconds of action.

That’s nearly a point per minute – and nearly a perfect outing.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving tied for the game high in scoring with 22 points apiece.
  • Semi Ojeleye scored a career-high 11 points off the bench.
  • Boston's largest lead was 31 points, while Sacramento's was only two points.
  • The C's doubled up the Kings in rebounds, 52-26.
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings with 17 points.
  • Boston assisted on 30 of its 40 made field goals.
  • Two C's bench players led the game in major statistical categories: Marcus Smart dished out a game-high eight assists, and Daniel Theis grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • Theis' 10 boards doubled as a career-high as well.
  • Boston shot 48.8 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from long range.
  • Kyrie Irving added to his league-leading steal total with four more tonight. He's up to 21 on the season.
  • Seven Celtics finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-11.
  • Boston made four more free throws (16) than Sacramento attempted (12).
  • Both teams grabbed 10 steals.
  • Al Horford tallied seven points, seven rebounds and six assists on the night.
  • Eight players in the game blocked a shot, but none blocked more than one.

Quote of the Night

He just has a good motor to him. He's always in good position. He never quits on plays. He's got good balance, as we can see. And he's awfully long, so even when he doesn't get it, he tips it. .

Brad Stevens on rookie big man Daniel Theis and his rebounding ability.

Key Player