Two comebacks in one half? We’ll take it.
Boston fell behind the Kings by 17 points early on Thursday night before fighting back to take a one-point lead early in the third quarter. Sacramento then again built a 13-point lead shortly thereafter, but, guess what? That one disappeared, too.
And rather quickly.
Sacramento led 80-67 after De’Aaron Fox scored a driving layup with 7:32 left in the third quarter. Before the quarter ended, though, the Celtics not only sliced that deficit down, but they actually turned it into a lead.
The most important stretch occurred during the final 3:22 of the quarter, when Boston outscored Sacramento 16-2. Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward combined to score those 16 points.
Irving, who scored a team-high 31 points in the game, got the ball rolling by scoring the first five points of the run. He made two free throws and a 3-pointer during his spurt.
Brown then took over by canning three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of just 80 seconds. All three 3s were assisted, with the first coming off of Hayward’s hands, and the final two being dished off of kick-outs from Al Horford.
Hayward closed out the run with an end-to-end, driving layup to beat the buzzer and give Boston a 93-91 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Celtics needed to turn in many key plays during the final frame to record their season sweep of Sacramento. Hayward’s four straight points gave Boston a seven-point lead with 8:04 remaining. A 9-0 run gave the C’s a 113-103 lead with 4:33 left. The defense allowed just one field goal from the 7:00 mark to the 3:47 mark.
That run during the third quarter, however, was the one that changed this game.
Boston rode the momentum it built during the final minutes of the third period right into their outstanding play during the fourth quarter. With the fans behind them and their energy set to high, the C’s closed out a 126-120 victory.
Kyrie Irving triple-double. ‘Nuff said.
Irving was a dominant force Thursday night as he propelled the Celtics past the visiting Kings with his second career triple-double. He tallied a team-high 31 points, a game-high 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.
The sharpshooting point guard was at his best, surprisingly, from inside the 3-point arc. That’s where he shot 10-for-19 from the field, including seven makes from inside the paint.
Irving also added in a steal and a blocked shot while totaling 37:36 of playing time.
Those stats speak for themselves when it comes to how the All-Star affected this game. He was, unquestionably, dominant.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston overcame two deficits of 13 or more points.
- The C's scored 126 points while making only nine 3-pointers.
- Kyrie Irving recorded a triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
- Buddy Hield scored a game-high 34 points.
- Boston scored a whopping 64 points in the paint, while .
- Jaylen Brown led all reserves with 22 points.
- Both teams dished out at least 31 assists.
- De'Aaron Fox and Alec Burks each grabbed a game-high three steals.
- The Celtics outscored the Kings by 15 points while Aron Baynes (nine rebounds, six points) was on the court.
- Marcus Morris put forth one of his top all-around efforts of the season with 21 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Quote of the Night
I thought he dug deep, because I thought he looked like he was a little bit tired in those first six minutes of the game coming off that trip. That's really encouraging that you've got a guy that's just gonna dig deep and figure it out for you.
Brad Stevens on Marcus Morris.