Thomas paces Kings over Celtics
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Thomas tallied 21 points with 12 assists and seven Kings scored in double figures in Sacramento's 105-98 win over the ailing Boston Celtics on Saturday.
Rudy Gay netted 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 13 and Ben McLemore scored 11 for the Kings, who had lost four of five starting with a 10-point loss in Boston on Feb. 7. Jason Thompson, Derrick Williams and Carl Landry all added 10 points while Cousins' streak of 15 straight games with a blocked shot came to an end.
"We were poised down the stretch and that's really what sealed the game," Cousins said.
Jeff Green shot just 7-for-25 from the floor but made 13 free throws to pace Boston with 29 points while Kris Humphries, who replaced Jared Sullinger in the starting unit after he suffered a mild concussion in the fourth quarter of Friday's loss to the Lakers, scored 19 with a game-high eight rebounds.
Star point guard Rajon Rondo also missed the tilt to rest his surgically repaired right knee.
The Celtics never led as they dropped their fourth straight game. Frustrations mounted late in the contest, as Gerald Wallace and head coach Brad Stevens were both ejected with less than a minute to play for arguing with officials. It was the first ejection of Stevens' NBA career.
Boston shot just 26.9 percent in the opening period, with Green's 0-for-8 not helping the cause. The Kings led 23-16 after 12 minutes.
The spread reached 16 points on a pair of Cousins free throws 2:27 before halftime, but Green scored seven points during a 10-2 Boston surge to cap the period and cut the deficit to 51-43 at intermission.
The margin hovered between three and 10 points during the third, but the result was in doubt after a 11-0 Celtics run tied the score early in the fourth. After Landry's three-point play made it 85-74 with 10:01 to play, Humphries scored consecutive buckets, Chris Johnson and Kelly Olynyk potted 3-pointers and Olynyk sank a free throw to knot it at 85 at 6:23.
The Kings took over from there. Cousins split a pair at the line and Gay scored twice to restore a five-point margin. Thomas made 6-of-6 from the line in the final 1:15, including all four technical free throws after Boston's ejections with 35.7 seconds remaining, to seal it.
"It was a long game, a lot of possessions and a lot of things happened," Stevens said. "We still had a chance to win."
Thomas matched a career-high with the 12 assists ... The Kings outscored Boston 40-26 in the paint ... Sacramento made 24-of-28 from the charity stripe while Boston struggled to the tune of 24-of-36 ... Green tied a career-best with 13 made free throws and set a career-high with 18 attempts.