Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kings Give Celtics The Royal Flush: 96-118

The Celtics were banished back to Boston by the Sacramento Kings to close out their disappointing road trip with a 22-point loss.

The C's are now 2 games below .500 and hold the distinction, according to Celtics Broadcaster Extraordinaire Mike Gorman, of being the first team since the 1977 Celtics to have lost three consecutive games by a total of 18 or more points each. The Kings have now won 6 out of their last 7 home games.

Things can't get much worse, but they CAN get worse. Thus far, the Celtics have remained turmoil-free with respect to finger pointing and accusations, which is positive because they'll need to come together to right their listing ship.

Now, don't get me wrong...they can and will get it together. As Celtics from Rajon Rondo (who returned after a one game absence due to a hip injury) to Kevin Garnett to Coach Doc Rivers have said, the team as a whole still plays too singularly. That is, there are 15 individuals who must figure out what it takes to play as one team.

On this night, you could almost hear each player running the defensive schemes over in their heads, which led to hesitancy that gave way to stiff and mechanical play that allowed the Kings to punch gaping holes in the Charmin-soft middle of the Celtics' defense to the tune of 56 interior points to the Celtics' 38.

Six Celtics scored in double figures, but it mattered not as the Kings buried them in a 4th quarter barrage of 3-pointers that put a game out of reach that was already slipping away thanks to a triple-double from reported malcontent DeMarcus Cousins and a performance from Isaiah Thomas that made stat checkers wonder if they had accidentally pulled up one of the old games of the Hall-Of-Fame Detroit Bad Boy himself.

I won't get into individual stats for the Celtics (or the Kings, for that matter. You can check them in the Box Score and Tale Of The Tape links if you REAAAALY want to), but the C's were once again out-shot (53.7% to 41.4% from the field and 50% to 31.8% from Threeland), out-rebounded (45 to 36), and out-run (20 fast-break points to 9).

Things don't figure to get any easier with a return to the Garden, however, as the Celtics return home to face the Memphis Grizzlies and old friend Tony Allen on Wednesday, but at least the Green will have two days off to turn their books to the same page. Maybe some trust exercises are in order, with someone standing on a chair while the rest of the team waits to catch them from behind as they fall.


Tale Of The Tape

Box Score

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