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BOSTON – The Celtics opened the game with their best quarter in 20 years. After scoring 46 points in the first quarter and 74 in the first half, the Celtics eventually found themselves in a familiar place: Holding off a surging opponent in the fourth quarter at home.
With DeMarcus Cousins raining threes and Rajon Rondo hitting all sort of bizarre shots, the Kings were closing in. Then Isaiah Thomas blew out his birthday cake, scoring nine points in the final two minutes.
-The Celtics shot 56.0 percent from the field, the second time they have crossed the 55 percent mark in a game this season. They shot 58.6 percent against the Nets on November 20. But the 24 turnovers off of 15 Kings steals will surely haunt coach Brad Stevens.
-The Celtics continue to be a team who collapses in the late third quarter to early fourth quarter units, but the closing rotation has been able to survive the avalanche each consistently.