SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)—The Sacramento Kings didn’t let an 18-point deficit ruin their winning streak.
The Celtics blew a 36-18 lead after one quarter as the Kings won for the 11th time in 12 games. Sacramento cut the lead to eight points by halftime and seized control with a 12-0 run early in the third.
“It felt strange to be down by around 20 points by the second quarter,” Stojakovic said. “We knew it was time to regroup.”
They certainly did, scoring 75 points over the second and third quarters to take a 13-point lead into the fourth.
Brad Miller had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, while Chris Webber had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Bibby added 15 points and 10 assists and reserve Darius Songaila came in to score 14 points.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in a 48-minute game,” Miller said. “That’s the beauty of it, you’ve got to play the whole game.”
Bibby scored six of his points during the third-quarter spurt, including the go-ahead basket that gave Sacramento the lead for good, while Stojakovic made four 3-pointers in the period.
“I was trying to get Peja the ball several times,” Bibby said. “When someone is shooting like that, you feed the hot hand.”
“It was the tale of two halves, we just let our offense effect our defense and that’s how it’s been all year,” Pierce said.
Raef LaFrentz added 15 points and 14 rebounds for Boston, while Jeri Welsch had 13 points.
The Celtics ran at every opportunity in the first half and shot 52 percent to take a 63-55 lead at intermission. Boston, which was playing the first of five straight road games, shot 61 percent in the first quarter.
“Our running game was the difference in the first half,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “It proved that you can run with this team, but you can’t take the foot off the pedal.”
Sacramento is 8-1 this year at home and has won 34 of 35 at Arco Arena against Eastern Conference teams. … In his previous three games, Bibby had a combined 22 points. … The Celtics have dropped nine straight games in Sacramento. Their last win came Feb. 16, 1996. … Doug Christie had his consecutive free-throw shooting streak stopped at 26 and Stojakovic also missed, ending his streak at 36.