BOSTON, MA — In a game between two of the younger teams in the NBA, the Celtics and Kings continued their recent respective trends. In a one-sided affair, the C’s cruised to their 6th straight victory, while Sacramento tumbled to a 6th consecutive loss. It was the most complete win of the season.
After Boston and Sacramento competed in a relatively even first quarter, the bench combination of Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, and Semi Ojeleye pushed the lead to 12 to begin the second. The Celtics went on an 18-to-3 run behind Theis’ 7 rebounds in 11 first half minutes. Ojeleye had two big catch-and-shoot 3’s, while Smart handed out five dimes.
Boston never looked back, and the Kings failed to cut the lead to under 16 for the entire second half. The C’s had nine players who played at least 20 minutes tonight.
Jaylen Brown continued his impressive play at home. The second year combo wing put up 22 points and 6 boards on an efficient 7-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes. He’s beginning to show that he can be relied upon in spurts to fill a secondary scoring role behind Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. Whether he can consistently carry the offensive load when called upon will be a major story to follow in the coming months.
Irving had perhaps his most complete two-way performance as a Celtic, albeit in only three quarters of play. The point guard chipped in 22 points and 5 helpers in 27 minutes. Additionally, he was tenacious on defense, and gave relentless effort trying to chase down De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.
On average, the Celtics are a full year younger than the Kings, yet Boston appears miles ahead in terms of development. The continued growth of Rozier, Tatum, and Brown, and the other ripening players is becoming more apparent with each passing game. Despite much skepticism that it would take them weeks to coalesce, especially after Gordon Hayward’s injury, Boston has thoroughly impressed in the first eight games. Meanwhile, the Kings haven’t won inside the TD Garden since January of 2007.
With the C’s taking a 29-point lead into the fourth quarter, Brad Stevens sat his starters (sans Jayson Tatum) for the entire fourth quarter. The added rest could become critical as the team will hit the road for three away games in four nights.
Marcus Morris has yet to be activated, but is expected to play Friday night in Oklahoma City. The new look Thunder just blew out the Bucks in Milwaukee, and have three days of rest to prepare for the Celtics.