The Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings have a knack for playing close games. After the Kings won by a point a week ago when Marcus Smart’s runner fell off the rim, the Celtics bounced back for a 103-102 win. It was Boston’s 12th straight win over the Kings in TD Garden.
To get the win, the Celtics had to survive a career-high 41 points from Buddy Hield, including 11 three-pointers.
The Celtics were led by 24 points from Jaylen Brown. Brown scored nine straight points in the third quarter to get Boston back in the lead. Jayson Tatum added 20 points and Enes Kanter scored 13.
Marcus Smart scored 17 points, including the last four points of the game for the Celtics. Those baskets were sandwiched around a Bogdan Bogdanovic three-pointer that had given the Kings the late lead. That had to feel good for Smart, after watching his potential game-winner fall off the rim last week.
After a ho-hum first half, Hield got hot in the third quarter with 21 points on 8-of-10 from the field. He then added nine more in the fourth quarter, for a total of 30 second half points. Overall, Hield was 15-of-26 from the field and took a whopping 21 three-pointers, making 11.
Harrison Barnes added 20 points for the Kings, but the Celtics were able to keep the ball from Hield or Barnes on the game’s final play. They forced Bogdanovic to take the last shot, and he missed. Bogdanovic was just 5-of-20 from the floor, including 2-of-13 from behind the arc.
With Kemba Walker (neck sprain) and Daniel Theis (illness) out, Brad Stevens turned to Kanter and Semi Ojeleye to start. Brad Wanamaker and rookie Two-Way player Tremont Waters each logged about 20 minutes of playing time for the shorthanded Celtics. Waters provided a spark off the bench in his first career game, with seven points and three assists.