Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Rapid reaction: Celtics 119, Kings 95
By Chris Forsberg
AP Photo/Charles KrupaBOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Sacramento Kings 119-95 Wednesday night at TD Garden:
Paul Pierce took it to the basket ... and the Kings Wednesday night.
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
Paul Pierce scored 15 first-quarter points to light the fuse on a night eight Celtics ended up in double figures in one of the season's breeziest wins. Pierce finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting over 27 minutes, doing much of his damage while attacking the rim. Nate Robinson chipped in 16 points off the bench, while Marquis Daniels added 12 more for a bench mob that combined for 56 points with extended floor time.
The Celtics boasted a six-point lead before Rajon Rondo went end-to-end for a driving layup just before the end of the half. Boston then came out of the intermission looking to put the game away and connected on 10 of its first 12 shots (one of those misses turned into a putback) as the lead ballooned to 22 after back-to-back layups by Pierce seven minutes into the third frame.
STAT OF THE GAME
Boston rank 29th in the league in 3-pointers attempted (only the Memphis Grizzlies take fewer), but the Celtics connected on 12 of 20 attempts (60 percent) Wednesday with Robinson and Allen splashing four apiece.
After playing a mere 12 minutes total since Christmas, Semih Erden stepped into an elevated role in the absence of Jermaine O'Neal (left knee soreness) and made the most of his time. Erden scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds before fouling out after 33 minutes of court time.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics snap a two-game losing streak by making this one a laugher. Gino, the JumboTron dancer in lopsided wins, appeared with 1:57 to play and Boston up 22. All 14 players that entered the game scored. It's a feel-good win that could get this six-game homestand back on track after a hiccup to start against the Rockets.