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Sport Four takeaways as Celtics blow out Kings 122-104 in dominant 2nd half

10:00  26 november  2022
10:00  26 november  2022 Source:   msn.com

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BOSTON — The Celtics impressed to start the game, struggled in the middle quarters then dominated theend against the Kings. The final result was a 122-104 Boston win over Sacramento on Friday at TD Garden.

Friday’s game was sold as a track meet as the league’s No. 1 and No. 2 offenses went up against each other, and the points delivered ... at least for the C’s. The Kings looked great in the middle of the game, but they were ineffective against the C’s late. Boston improved to a league-best 15-4 on the season.

The Celtics started strong, building up a 16-point lead. But the Kings dominated the second quarter and even built a modest lead in the third. The Celtics then put together a 16-0 run to end the third as they built another double-digit lead. But it didn’t end there as they slammed the door shut on any Kings comeback attempt. The Celtics ended up going on a 35-4 run as the Kings never got back into the game.

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Jayson Tatum led the way for the C’s with 30 points and eight rebounds. Jaylen Brown had another 25 points and five rebounds on 9-for-16 shooting. De’Aaron Fox had 20 points; Domantas Sabonis had 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Kings.

The Celtics continue their home stand when they take on the Wizards at 6 p.m. Sunday at TD Garden. Here are four takeaways from Boston’s win over Sacramento:

No answers

The Kings looked like they were in perfect position to start pulling away from the Celtics when they had a six-point lead late in the third quarter. Then the C’s turned the intensity up to another level, and the Kings had no response. Runs like 35-4 are rare in the NBA for a reason, but the Celtics kept up the pressure. The Kings also scored just 20 points in the fourth quarter as they faltered down the stretch.

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Second quarter struggles

While the Celtics have started off strong defensively most nights, the second quarter has been a major problem point this season. The C’s came into Friday’s game with the second-worst defensive rating in the second quarter — that trend continued against the Kings. Sacramento put up 40 points in the second, which is the most the C’s have allowed in a quarter this season. Boston will need to clean up those second quarters as the season progresses further. To the Celtics’ credit, the Kings scored just 64 points in the other three quarters.

Tatum, Brown continue their impressive play

While it wasn’t the greatest scoring outputs by either Tatum or Brown, it’s the consistency that has stood out. The Celtics got contributions up and down the roster, including Derrick White’s 16 points and Al Horford’s 13. But the Celtics leaned on their stars when they needed it, and both of them delivered. Tatum and Brown also each had four assists, with a positive sign in the playmaking department.

Bench spark

While the game was still in doubt late in the third quarter, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla elected to inject some life into the C’s. He subbed in Payton Pritchard and Luke Kornet, both of whom didn’t play in the first half, as they immediately changed the complexion of the game. Pritchard continues to be an impressive microwave bench scorer as he scored nine points in 15 minutes, while Luke Kornet had a nice put-back dunk to spark the Celtics with some momentum.

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