current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

already a subscriber? Register me
Subscribe now See my options
National Basketball Association
Preview
Sacramento at Boston
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 7, 2016
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Celtics are winners of eight of their last nine games and shocked the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers with a last-second win on Friday. The Celtics will try to keep rolling when they return home to host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Boston was down five points with 18 seconds left against the Cavaliers before rallying for the win, capped by Avery Bradley’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner. The Celtics’ recent surge has pushed the team all the way into a tie for third place in the East, and they have a chance to maintain that momentum through the All-Star break with two of the next three games at home. The Kings don’t seem to be in any position to stop Bradley and the Boston offense after letting the Brooklyn Nets, who entered Friday 29th in the league in scoring average, go off for 128 points and 18 3-pointers in a nine-point loss. The setback marked the sixth in the last seven games for Sacramento, which is surrendering an average of 116.4 points in that span and is reportedly considering a coaching change.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), CSN New England (Boston)

ABOUT THE KINGS (21-29): All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins recorded a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at Brooklyn but was unhappy with the team’s execution on the defensive end. "I'd rather keep it in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort,” Cousins told reporters after the 128-119 loss. “That can't be the excuse every night. … So we're going to work it out as a team, and hopefully we can fix this." Former Boston point guard Rajon Rondo had another big game with 15 points and 15 assists on Friday but the veteran, who twice made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team with the Celtics, was part of a perimeter defense that allowed the struggling Nets to go off at 18-of-28 from beyond the arc.

ABOUT THE CELTICS (30-22): Boston is putting up an average of 110.5 points in its last 14 games while posting 11 wins in that span. The Celtics will attack that suspect perimeter defense of the Kings with the guard quartet of Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Evan Turner, which combined for 63 points on Friday. Turner is excelling in his role off the bench and has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games while posting a double-double in two of the last three.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Celtics F Jae Crowder is fighting through a leg injury and went 1-of-9 from the field on Friday.

2. Kings F Rudy Gay (ankle) left the game in the first quarter on Friday and did not return, but x-rays came back negative and he is day-to-day.

3. Thomas and Bradley combined for 41 points when Boston earned a 114-97 victory over Sacramento in Mexico City on Dec. 3.

PREDICTION: Celtics 113, Kings 104
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Sacramento 21-29 L2 13-13 8-16 2-0 19-29 5-7 10-20
Boston 30-22 W3 15-10 14-12 0-3 30-19 7-5 23-15
Last Meeting
Sacramento Boston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/3/15 BOS 114 SAC 97 97 46 37.7 114 40 47.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento R. Gay 18 53.8 2
Boston K. Olynyk 21 75.0 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento K. Koufos 10 2 8
Boston A. Johnson 7 1 6
Assists Player  
Sacramento R. Rondo 8
Boston I. Thomas 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento D. Cousins 1195 44.2 337
Boston I. Thomas 1149 41.8 294
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento D. Cousins 499 107 392
Boston J. Sullinger 466 133 333
Assists Player  
Sacramento R. Rondo 593
Boston I. Thomas 363
Quickchart Matchup
Sacramento Off vs  Boston Defense
106.8 Points For
100.4 Points Against
46.1 FG%
43.0 FG%
45.5 Reb
46.5 Reb
Boston Off vs  Sacramento Defense
104.6 Points For
108.5 Points Against
43.6 FG%
45.7 FG%
46.5 Reb
44.1 Reb