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Rapid Reaction: Celtics 99, Kings 89

BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Sacramento Kings 99-89 on Friday night at TD Garden:

THE NITTY GRITTY

Jared Sullinger posted his fourth consecutive double-double, this one the biggest of the batch as he put up a career-high 31 points (on 14-of-24 shooting) and 16 rebounds over 33:20. Gerald Wallace flirted with a triple-double (8 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists) during a spot start, while rookie Kelly Olynyk (11 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) and Jerryd Bayless (19 points, 4 assists) provided a spark off the Boston bench. DeMarcus Cousins matched Sullinger's output (31 points, 16 rebounds) while Isaiah Thomas added 24 points to help pace the Kings.

TURNING POINT

The Celtics were clinging to a one-point lead 70 seconds into the fourth quarter, but embarked on a 15-0 run to blow the game wide-open. Wallace's driving layup lit the fuse, Bayless hit a couple 3-pointers that helped push the lead to double digits, and a couple Sullinger hoops (including an and-1 layup) had Boston on top 89-73 with 7:04 to go.

LOOSE BALLS

The Celtics were playing without starting backcourt Rajon Rondo (soreness) and Avery Bradley (ankle). ... Kris Humphries did not play for the first 20-plus minutes of the first half with a report indicating he was late for the team's shootaround. Joel Anthony took his early minutes. ... The Kings shot 35.6 percent overall (31-of-87), while Boston finished at 45.5 percent (40-of-88).

TEMPERS FLARE

Thomas and Bayless got into a bit of a dust-up midway through the fourth quarter. Referees tagged them with a double-technical and Cousins (of all people) stepped in to help defuse the situation. ... Later in the fourth quarter, Wallace got tagged with a technical foul (his team-leading third of the season).

WHAT IT MEANS

The Celtics (18-33) have now won three straight, this after winning just three times over their previous 22 games before this unexpected (albeit schedule-aided) streak. Boston takes Saturday off but will have a chance to match its longest winning streak of the season when it hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. The Celtics travel to meet basement-dwelling Milwaukee for the tail end of a back-to-back on Monday, then wrap up the pre-All-Star portion of their schedule by hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Boston will get a full week off from game action during the midseason break.