By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It came down to the final shot of the afternoon, but Marcus Smart and the Celtics could not extend their winning streak to 11 games on Sunday, as they fell to the Kings by a 100-99 final at the Golden 1 Center.
In what was a 12:30 p.m. start in Sacramento, the Celtics started slow, as the Kings outscored Boston 30-18 in the opening frame, at one point led by 13 points, and carried a four-point lead into the half.
But the Celtics clawed back and jumped back in front of the third quarter, and even played with a game-best six-point lead towards the end of the third quarter, led by some hot shooting from Jaylen Brown (4-for-7 with 10 points in the third quarter).
Trading blows in the fourth quarter, the Celtics actually found themselves protecting a one-point lead with just seconds to go, but a pair of free throws from Richaun Holmes put the Kings up by one and the game in Kemba Walker’s hands.
Knowing Walker’s fourth-quarter devastation, the Kings wisely double-teamed Walker with some help defense, and Walker kicked the ball out towards Smart. It appeared that Smart, who had dropped just one of eight prior three-pointers, was going to heave it from deep, but instead drove towards the night with a running floater that looked like it was going to drop.
Instead, the ball fluttered around the rim, and ultimately bounced every which way but in, as the Kings snapped Boston’s streak at 10.
Marcus Smart misses the game winning float and the Kings stop the Celtics Streak pic.twitter.com/6YHEFJNMDG— GoatWorldSports (@GoatWorldSport1) November 17, 2019
“The ball just sat on the rim forever,” Smart, who finished with just two makes on 16 shots, said after the loss. “I thought it was going in. I think everybody thought it was going in.”
For Sacramento, the bulk of the afternoon’s scoring came from Buddy Hield, who torched the Celtics for 35 points behind a 14-for-24 day from the floor, and with makes on seven of his 12 attempts from deep.
The Celts will have a quick turnaround with a Monday night meeting with the Suns.