Kings 118, Celtics 96By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Dec 31, 2012 12:00 AM EST
SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings used an assortment of combinations to outscore the struggling Boston Celtics and take a 118-96 victory Sunday night before 15,305 at the Sleep Train Arena. The Kings (11-19) won their third straight home game, while the Celtics (14-16) lost their third straight road game. Sacramento scrapped its way to a 56-38 advantage on points in the paint and created a large disparity in field-goal percentage. The Kings hit 53.7 percent of their shots while limiting the Celtics to 41.9 percent success from the floor. The Kings were led by Isaiah Thomas' 27 points and small forward John Salmons' 23. Six-foot-11 power forward Jason Thompson scored a season-high 20 points. Boston, which lost 101-83 to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in Oakland, appeared to be a step slow at each end. The Celtics play at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Small forward Paul Pierce and shooting guard Jason Terry each scored 20 points to lead the Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green added 16 apiece. The Kings grabbed control of the game in the third quarter, taking an 11-point lead into the final period. The fourth quarter was a 3-point fest for the Kings, who wound up making 10 of 20 attempts from long distance. The Kings lost Marcus Thornton, who made a 3-point shot but injured his foot when he landed on Terry's foot. Thornton was helped to the locker room and did not return. Thompson scored 13 in the first half to lead the Kings. NOTES: Garnett entered the night ranked ninth all-time in minutes played in NBA history with 46,624. Garnett, including his time with Minnesota, recently passed Boston Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Robert Parish. Eighth on the list is Gary Payton at 47,117. ... Rajon Rondo returned to action for the Celtics after missing Saturday night's game with a bruised right thigh and hip. He shot 1-for-6 and finished with two points and 10 assists. ... Kings guards Tyreke Evans and Aaron Brooks each missed the game. Evans sat out for the 11th time this season due to a sore left knee, while Brooks missed his first game with an ankle injury. ... The Kings averaged 29 assists and just 12 turnovers in the previous three games, and they nearly matched those figures Sunday with 28 assists and 13 turnovers. ... Kings coach Keith Smart understands fans and the media may question his substitutions. "It depends on what I think we need on the floor during a given time. We may be at a time in the game when I think we need defense instead of offense. Others may disagree." ... Sacramento plays at Detroit on Tuesday.
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