Paul Pierce recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, as the Boston Celtics defeated the Sacramento Kings, 99-81, on Wednesday.
Kevin Garnett had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who came into this game off a double-overtime victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday. Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Jason Terry each scored 12 points off the bench, while Courtney Lee, who started in place of the injured Rajon Rondo, scored nine points.
"I'm very happy with the way we played," Pierce said. "We defended well, we moved the ball. You look down and you got six or seven guys in double figures...not a bad start to our point guard being out."
Tyreke Evans had a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, while DeMarcus Cousins added 13 points for the Kings, who have lost five of their past six games.
Boston scored the first eight points of the game, but then suffered a setback when Jared Sullinger left with back spasms. The rookie forward did not return.
Sacramento came back and tied the game, 22-22, with 48 seconds remaining, thanks to a dunk by Jason Thompson. A dunk by Evans with 15.9 seconds remaining gave the Kings a 24-22 lead by the end of the quarter.
However, in the second, Green sparked a 20-5 run with jumper. Boston shot 16- of-20 in the period, including a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and by halftime had a 59-38 lead.
"I think we played a pretty good basketball game except for the second quarter," Sacramento coach Keith Smart remarked. "If you look at the rest of the game, we played a pretty decent game. But we couldn't make up for that ground that we gave up in the second quarter."
The second half didn't fare any better for the Kings. At one point in the third quarter, they trailed 80-56 before layups by Thomas Robinson and Evans cut the deficit 80-60.
In the fourth, Evans scored six points early on and a three-point play by Cousins cut the Celtics' lead to 90-76 with 5:44 remaining, but the Kings were unable to get any closer.
Garnett played in his 1,300th career game ... Sacramento has lost six of its last seven games at Boston, including five straight ... The Kings had just 13 assists.