It has been a while since the Boston Celtics looked as though they played down to the competition. But that was indeed what we saw in the first half as the undermanned Sacramento Kings held their own with the red-hot Celtics as both teams went into the half knotted up at 49.
The Kings were playing without three-time all-star DeMarcus Cousins who was suspended without pay for racking up too many technical fouls.
But the absence of Cousins meant more guard play from Sacramento.
And that was not necessarily a good thing, especially when you consider the Kings’ three guards (Darren Collison; Ty Lawson and Ben McLemore) combined for 30 of Sacramento’s 49 first-half points.
Boston led by as many as 10 points, only to see the lead wiped out courtesy of shoddy defense and a handful of lightly contested or wide open misses.
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas didn’t waste much time reminding the team that drafted him and then traded him away for next to nothing, that they made a big mistake. Thomas had 10 of his 17 first-half points in the first quarter.
He has played some of his best games against the Celtics, and Wednesday seemed to be another one of those nights for Collison. He led the Kings with 14 first-half points along with three assists.
His best game as a Celtic came earlier this season at the TD Garden against the Sacramento Kings. He was just as impressive on Wednesday. At the half, Horford had 5 points, 5 rebounds and a blocked shot.
The Kings got a major spark off the bench from McLemore who had 10 points in the first half on 4-for-6 shooting.
Isaiah Thomas’ penetration coupled with Johnson’s ability to run the floor effectively was huge for the Celtics in the first half. Johnson had nine points on 4-for-5 shooting with three rebounds.
This game was a lot closer in the first half than it should have been courtesy of a slew of mistakes by Boston. At the half, they turned the ball over 10 times which led to six points for the Kings.