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SACRAMENTO - Boston’s offense was the king of the court Sunday night in Sacramento.
Missing wasn’t much of an option for the Celtics, as their starters combined to shoot an incredible 72 percent from the field during a 104-93 win over Sacramento.
“I’ve never heard anything like that,” starting point guard Terry Rozier said of the percentage. “That’s nuts.”
So was Rozier’s personal performance.
The point guard, who started his fifth consecutive game in place of an injured Kyrie Irving, flirted with franchise history as he connected on eight 3-pointers on the night – one more than Sacramento’s entire team. He was oblivious down the stretch to the fact that he was one 3-pointer shy of tying Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker for the most 3-pointers made in a single game in franchise history.
“If I knew that,” he said with a piercing smile, “I would’ve shot five more 3s.”
Although Rozier teetered on history from beyond the arc, that wasn’t the only area from which he found success. The point guard also made all four of his shots from inside the arc, all while playing a team-high 36 minutes that featured only one turnover. He scored a career-high 33 points to lead Boston’s offense, and he also grabbed a career-best five steals.
Rozier commented that his “confidence is sky-high,” and so, too, is the confidence of the rest of Boston’s offense following Sunday’s effort against the Kings.
Jaylen Brown, in his return to the court after missing six games with a concussion, scored 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field. He scored on the interior, from the mid-range, and from the 3-point range. He also made all six of his free throws on the night as he provided an athletic boost that the C’s had been missing for more than two weeks.
“I was just doing my best to stay locked in and stay engaged and find my rhythm,” Brown said of his return to the lineup, “and I kind’ve found one early in the first quarter and I found one later in the second half, and tried to just stay with that.”
The only thing Brown didn’t stick with on this night was his renowned dunking ability.
Thursday afternoon in Portland, after Boston’s practice, Brown said that his mom didn’t want him to dunk anymore after his frightening fall that led to his concussion. However, Brown’s instincts took over during the first quarter as he flushed home a dunk to open up his night. Later in the game, though, when he had a moment to think about his next move on a fast break, Brown slowed up and dropped in a layup instead of throwing down one of his patented slams.
“That’s probably what I’m going to say (to my mom): ‘Hey, you saw that one, right?’ I could’ve (dunked), but I didn’t,’” he joked. “And she’s going to be like, ‘Alright, watch it, buddy.’”
Sacramento was caught watching Brown and the rest of the Celtics throughout the game as they dropped in shot after shot. Every member of Boston’s starting group made at least 60 percent of his shots, as the starters combined for 84 of the team’s 104 points.
As Brad Stevens commented after the game, “Everyone played well offensively.”
With that being said, it would have been rightful for Rozier, Brown and the rest of the starting crew to take credit for their dazzling collective offensive performance. In true Celtic fashion, however, they deflected the credit to those around them. Rozier, in particular, recognized Stevens and his assistants for setting the team up for success.
“You talk to a lot of guys on the opposing teams and they’re always talking about our offense and stuff like that, and it’s tough to guard,” Rozier explained. “So they put us in the right position no matter who we’ve got out there, to get the shots that we need to win the game.”
In reality, it might not have mattered which shots the Celtics attempted Sunday night in Sacramento. They were going in, regardless of where they came from, or how well the Kings defended them.
Rozier, Brown and the rest of the starters were as locked in as they’ve ever been. The Celtics may pride themselves on defense, but it was their offense that helped them take the throne in Sacramento.