Karl era begins as Kings host Celtics

( - The George Karl era begins in Sacramento on Friday, as the former Coach of the Year takes the helm when the Kings host the Boston Celtics at Sleep Train Arena.

Karl was hired to coach the Kings during the All-Star break, replacing interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who took over for the abruptly-fired Mike Malone earlier this season.

Karl takes over a Kings team 16 games under .500 with the third-worst record in the Western Conference.

"I said, 'I want you to forget the last 52 games,'" Karl said after practice Wednesday. "For me, it's like the chalk board is clean. For me, it's what happens from now, forward, not necessarily what happened in the last 52 games."

Karl got a trusted former floor general back on Thursday when the Kings acquired Andre Miller from the Washington Wizards in exchange for backup point guard Ramon Sessions. Miller played for Karl when Karl was manning the sidelines of the Denver Nuggets.

The Kings come into Friday's game on a two-game slide with losses in Chicago and Milwaukee before the break. They did win their last home game, a two-point victory over the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 8.

Sacramento will play four of its next five in California's capital city.

The Celtics were playing good basketball prior to the All-Star break. They won four of their last five, including three straight at home, although none was more impressive than their final win.

Boston beat the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks, 89-88, a week ago Wednesday. The Celtics led for only 0.2 seconds Wednesday, but it was when it mattered most.

Evan Turner's runner just before the buzzer gave the Celtics a stunning win despite trailing by 18.

Boston begins a three-game western road trip on Friday with stops against the Los Angeles Lakers and Suns.

The Celtics acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas on Thursday in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton and a first-round pick in 2016, which belonged to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Danny Ainge had been active already this season. He traded Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Jameer Nelson and Brandan Wright in the first half.

In return, Ainge accumulated a slew of first-round picks and essentially started the rebuilding program around Marcus Smart and the core of young big men.

One of those young big men, Jared Sullinger, will be out for a while with a stress reaction to the fourth metatarsal of his left foot. There is no timetable for return.

"I don't know," said a clearly upset Sullinger. "They didn't tell me a lot. They just told me I'll be out for a little bit."

The Celtics beat the Kings by 22 in Boston on New Year's Eve, but have lost three straight in Sacramento.