Keys to the Game: Celtics 128, Kings 75

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

The Boston Celtics wasted no time ending Sacramento’s hopes of grabbing a win Tuesday night at TD Garden. The Kings were dead in the water after just a handful of minutes.

Boston dominated out of the gates, pulling ahead 17-4 over the first four-plus minutes of the contest. It went on to pull ahead by as many as 26 points during the quarter before carrying a 38-13 lead into the second frame.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were at the center of Boston’s dominance from the opening tip. They combined to score 15 of those first 17 points by the Celtics, including four 3-pointers and one conventional three-point play. Brown scored nine points during the run, while Tatum added six. The only other Boston player who scored during the spurt was Robert Williams, who dunked home a miss by Marcus Smart.

This hot start propelled the Celtics to a breezy, runaway, annihilation of a victory. They pulled ahead by as many as 60 points before closing out a 128-75 win.

Key Player

The only way to overcome a 36-point night by Jayson Tatum and a 30-point night by Jaylen Brown to steal our Key Player section is by setting a new career high. We repeat, that’s the only way.

Robert Williams did just that Tuesday night.

Williams set a new career high in the rebounding department by hauling in a game-high 17 boards against the Kings. Even more impressive than the raw rebound total is the fact that Williams pulled down all of those boards during only 27-plus minutes of game time. No other player in the game totaled more than 10 rebounds.

Boston’s starting center went well beyond the rebounding category on this night as well. He also scored 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting to notch his 14th double-double of the season. That double-double total ties Tatum for the team lead in that category. To round out his box score, Williams grabbed a game-high three steals and blocked a game-best two shots. He also logged the game’s top plus/minus rating at plus-42.

Add it all up, and Williams led the game in rebounds, steals, blocks and plus/minus rating, all while scoring an efficient 13 points. That’s how you overcome a pair of 30-plus-point efforts by Tatum and Brown to earn our Key Player slot for the night.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum (36 points) and Jaylen Brown (30 points) led the game in scoring.
  • Buddy Hield was the only Kings player to break double-figures in scoring. He totaled just 11 points.
  • Boston never trailed and led by as many as 60 points.
  • Robert Williams grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and also led the game in steals (three), blocks (two) and plus/minus rating (plus-42).
  • Boston shot 49.5 percent from the field, while Sacramento shot just 30.5 percent.
  • Twelve of the 13 Kings players who appeared in the game scored at least three points.
  • Boston totaled 32 assists, led by seven from Marcus Smart.
  • Brown tallied a double-double with 30 points and 10 boards.
  • The Celtics made 51 baskets, compared to Sacramento's total of 29.
  • Eight Celtics made at least one 3-pointer, led by seven from Jayson Tatum.

Quote of the Night

Ime Udoka on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown