Road Reaction: Boston Celtics 99, Sacramento Kings 81

After a competitive first quarter, the Sacramento Kings fell apart in the second, allowing the Boston Celtics to put them away before halftime.  Boston won a 99-81 laugher and sent the Kings to 17-30 on the season.

Notes and Analysis

  • Tyreke Evans came to play tonight,  but he was one of the few.  The former Rookie of the Year finished with 19 points and tied a career-high with 11 rebounds in the loss.  The more you see Evans and Jimmer Fredette play together, the more you can see the vision behind drafting Jimmer with the 10th overall pick in 2011.
  • Jimmer didn’t exactly blow anyone away with his two points and two assists in 18 minutes.  But, he was one of two Kings players to finish with a positive +/- in the game at +7.  He opens up the floor like no other King and provides the necessary spacing for both Evans and DeMarcus Cousins to work.  All 18 of Jimmer’s minutes came in the second half.
  • Cousins has been having an off week and it continued tonight.  The Kings best player finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists, but he shot just 4-for-12 from the field and turned the ball over five times.  He looks like he is disengaged for stretches and when the Kings get behind, you might as well send him to the locker room.
  • Jason Thompson scored nine points on 4-for-7 shooting, but he is quickly losing minutes to rookie Thomas Robinson.  Robinson finished with 11 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes and he is finally starting to slow down on the offensive end.  Thompson needs to find his groove and quickly.
  • The Kings bench was flat out atrocious in the first half, combining to score just seven points on seven shots.  We are 47 games into the season and Smart still hasn’t to figured out a way to mix his starters and reserves.  After an entertaining first quarter, Smart went deep to the bench, using Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton, James Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Robinson and Chuck Hayes.  By the time Smart went back to his starters, the game was over.
  • Stat of the Night: The Celtics smoked the Kings in the second quarter, hitting their first 14 shots in the period and outscoring the road team 37-14.  The Kings bench was horrific in the first half and cost the Kings the chance to compete in this one.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will the Celtics have an answer for Isaiah Thomas?

Isaiah Thomas didn’t have the answer tonight.  The Kings starting point guard fell apart in the first half, scoring three points on 0-for-7 shooting.  Beyond the shooting woes, Thomas handed out a single assist in 18 minutes of action before the break as the Kings played selfish, one-on-one ball.  Thomas finished with eight points on 2-for-10 shooting, an assist and three steals in 24 minutes.

2.  Will John Salmons be healthy enough to contribute?

Francisco Garcia got the start tonight while Salmons missed the game with a stomach virus.  Garcia didn’t come close to the 17 points he poured in Monday night.  He finished with just six points on six shots.

3.  Can the Kings duplicate their successful ball movement from Monday’s game against the Wizards?

It doesn’t get much worse than what we saw in Boston.  The Kings went one-on-one on almost every possession, dishing out a meager five assists in a lopsided first half.  The issues begin with the guards and permeates through the rest of the ball club.  For the game, the Kings finished with just 13 assists and 19 turnovers.  It’s hard to win when you don’t pass the ball.

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