The Sacramento Kings hosted the Boston Celtics on Sunday and stunned the NBA’s best team in a thrilling finish to remain one of the hottest teams in the league.
The Sacramento Kings walked into Golden 1 Center on Sunday afternoon and stunned the Boston Celtics by a final score of 100-99. In an exhilarating finish, the Kings managed to defeat the previously 10-1 Celtics to continue their red hot streak.
And they’re doing so without two key starters.
The Kings have now won five of their last seven games after struggling to an 0-5 record to start the season. And those two losses came by a combined six points courtesy of the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers — the latter in controversial fashion.
Nonetheless, the Kings held tough against one of the NBA’s elite for the second straight game but this time they emerged victorious. After a heartbreaking and frustrating loss to the Lakers, the Kings eeked out a victory over the Celtics in dramatic fashion.
One might say that the ball just rolled their way.
A Marcus Smart floater rimmed out in the final breath-taking seconds as Buddy Hield sprinted down the floor in celebration and the Kings’ bench poured out on to the court. And it was Hield’s 35-point outing that led Sacramento to victory.
But he was far from the only hero.
Richaun Holmes once again got the start at center and the energetic big man fell just shy of a double-double finishing with nine points and 11 rebounds. But it was a late block and two clutch free throws that put the emphasis on what was an impressive afternoon.
Meanwhile, Nemanja Bjelica recorded his second double-double in three games finishing with 12 points and a team-leading 14 rebounds. The Serbian native has come up huge in Bagley’s absence and continues to be one of the Kings’ most important players.
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The Kings were also treated to a 12-point, 10-assist outing from Bogdan Bogdanovic coming off the bench. While he struggled from the field shooting just 5-of-14, Bogdanovic thrived as a playmaker falling one short of his career-high of 11 assists.
Bogdanovic has been crucial in Fox’s absence as the 2014 first-round pick has taken over as the team’s top facilitator on offense with his impeccable passing. Even when he’s not on as a shooter, the man they call ‘Bogi’ is still a critical part of the Kings’ offense.
Head coach Luke Walton has the Kings playing their best basketball of the season despite being down two of their top players.
Many were quick to judge after a disastrous 0-5 start, but Walton has this team playing hard and many early-season issues have disappeared or at least been mitigated.
The defense is significantly improved and the turnovers have been cut down. While the team still tends to resort to “hero ball” too often, the ball movement has improved which is impressive given Fox’s absence.
Walton has silenced many of his critics and suddenly the Kings have become one of the hottest teams in the NBA. And after defeating the Celtics who had won 10 straight prior to Sunday’s matchup, perhaps they are the hottest.
The Kings have proven that they could hang with the NBA’s best teams. Now, it’s all about riding the momentum, staying composed, and continuing to play complete, team ball.
Sacramento Kings basketball is fun again!