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Celtics down Kings 104-93

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Terry Rozier’s career-high leads shorthanded Celtics

NBA: Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The shorthanded Boston Celtics overcame a sloppy to start to defeat the Kings in Sacramento 104-93. The victory is Boston’s third in a row and clinched their second consecutive 50-win season.

Terry Rozier led the way with a career-high 33 points, including hitting 8 of 12 from behind the arc. With Marcus Morris out while nursing a sprained ankle, the Celtics needed someone to step up scoring-wise and Rozier delivered. The hot shooting from Rozier was just part of a good shooting night from Boston overall, as the Celtics hit 55.6 percent of their shots from the floor.

Jaylen Brown returned to the lineup and overcame some rustiness and foul trouble to score 19 points. Jayson Tatum added 12 points of his own, while Al Horford was solid all around with 14 points, five rebounds and eight assists.

Buddy Hield had it going early for the Kings, as he scored 21 points. Fellow young guard De’Aaron Fox added 11 points, while the big-man tandem of Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere scored 14 apiece. After a quick start in the first half, the Boston defense stepped up and kept Sacramento in check in the second half, as Sacramento finished just 7 of 26 on three-pointers.

The Celtics’ ball movement was also excellent in this game, as they had 23 assists on 40 baskets. Eight of the 11 players who played tallied at least one assist.

Youngsters Semi Ojeleye and Jabari Bird chipped in some solid play off the Celtics bench, especially on the defensive end. That play is necessary for a Boston team that will remain shorthanded for at least the remainder of the regular season.

Boston will look to improve to 3-0 on this West Coast trip on Monday night at the Phoenix Suns.