Quite simply, the Boston Celtics didn't bring their 'A' game into their matchup with the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. Actually, they didn't bring their 'B' game, 'C' game or even 'D' game.
Marcus Thornton scored a game-high 36 points, even scoring 16 of his team's 20 points at one stretch from the third quarter through the fourth, and the Kings torched an uninterested Celtics squad, 120-95.
It was clear that the Celts weren't ready right off the bat, falling behind by nine points in the early stages of the game while allowing the Kings to shoot 60 percent. Boston was down 26-20 after one quarter, but they showed some life in the second, outscoring Sacramento by five, 31-26, to make it a one-point game, 52-51, heading into halftime.
The third quarter was about as ugly as it could get. Thornton scored 14 in the frame and the Kings shot 70 percent and made all 10 free throws attempted on the way to a season-best 41-point quarter, putting them up 93-74 entering the final period. The Kings coasted for the final twelve minutes en route to their 15th win of the season.
Sacramento had five players reach double digits in scoring, led by Thornton. Jason Thompson scored 21 and had 15 rebounds, DeMarcus Cousins finished with 20 points and seven boards, Isaiah Thomas had 13 points and 10 assists and Travis Outlaw scored 10 off the bench. The Kings shot 53.5 percent from the field.
Ray Allen scored 26 and Paul Pierce, who suffered from a mild right ankle sprain late in the game, scored 19 (four in the second half) for Boston. Brandon Bass scored 16, Kevin Garnett had 10 points and Rajon Rondo was held to four points but had 12 assists. Boston shot 45.6 percent from the floor in the embarrassing loss.
Certainly, this is not the way the Celtics had hoped to begin their trek back East, but they'll have to move on quickly, as they take on the Denver Nuggets at 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday.