Game: Boston Celtics @ Sacramento Kings
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -4.5, Kings +4.5
They are two of the top teams in the NBA. They also are both coming off losses to the Utah Jazz. The Boston Celtics will travel to the Sacramento Kings tonight and both teams will be looking to avenge losses to the Jazz.
This will be the second and final time the two teams meet this season. Tonight marks the end of a six-game road trip for Boston. It’s also the beginning of a four-game home stand for the Kings.
The Kings and Celtics last played on November 25 when Boston defeated Sacramento at home 122-104. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 25 for the winners. Tatum only scored 15 points in the Celtics’ most recent game on Saturday, a 118-117 loss to the Jazz. Brown added 25 points in the loss. The loss was Boston’s second in five games on the road trip. Grant Williams added 23 points for Boston.
Robert Williams III, the Celtics’ starting center, has missed the team’s last eight games due to a strained left hamstring. On Monday, he worked out and was given the go-ahead to play against the Kings tonight. Williams could give the Celtics a boost, especially on the defensive end. Boston may be out of gas on the last leg of their current road trip. It started with a win over Atlanta, a loss to Houston by two, and then wins over Minnesota and Portland before the loss to Utah on Saturday.
In the loss on Saturday, Boston watched as the Jazz got 17 offensive rebounds and ended up winning by one. Boston also got a subpar offensive performance from Tatum. That was the Celtics’ fifth game in eight days and Tatum still had two chances to win it late in the game.
The Kings’ 128-120 loss to Utah on Monday lacked any late-game heroics like that to seal the victory. Domantas Sabonis just missed another triple-double. He had 11 points and 12 rebounds but finished with nine assists. De’Aaron Fox had 37 points and Keegan Murray added 22.
Sacramento (43-28) is now one game behind second place Memphis (44-27) in the Western Conference playoff race. Boston (49-23) is in second place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (48-23).
Losing to Utah prevented Sacramento from going 4-0 on their road trip after winning at Chicago, Brooklyn, and Washington. The Kings were doomed by a 40-19 first quarter, and the subsequent energetic comeback to make it a close game could have consequences on the second night of a back-to-back. Sacramento rallied from a 25-point deficit to take the lead five times in the fourth quarter.
The Kings can clinch a playoff berth during their four-game home stand as they face the Phoenix Suns, Jazz, and Timberwolves. It would be the Kings’ first playoff berth since 2006. The Celtics have already clinched a playoff spot in the East.
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