Kings

Haliburton rocks awesome hoodie before dominating Celtics

Kings
Haliburton, Kings

Tyrese Haliburton had a career night in the Kings' 116-111 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, and it started with his pregame fit. 

The rookie was seen rocking a "Rese's passes" hoodie before the game, a play on words involving the Reese's Pieces candy and Haliburton's often insane dishes to teammates. The hoodie originated from The Kings Herald, a blog based on the Kings, and was made available on Twitter. 

"I saw the hoodie online so I went and grabbed it," Haliburton said to NBC Sports California analysts Kyle Draper and Kayte Hunter on Kings Postgame Live. "My whole life, all of my social media names have been Tyrese's pieces, so it's cool that somebody ran with it." 

"I was just showing a little drip pregame," he laughed. "It's what I do."

What Haliburton flaunted pregame hardly compared to his performance on the court at Golden 1 Center against a Kemba Walker-less Celtics. The 20-year-old dropped a career-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and racked up three boards and two steals while dishing out four assists as the Kings (10-11) rolled to their fifth win in their last six games. 

What won't make it in the box score, however, is his continuous game-changing play. With the Kings trailing by 11 midway through the third quarter, it was Haliburton who sunk back-to-back 3's to help spark a 10-0 Sacramento run.

 

With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter and the Kings up by just three points, it was the rookie once more who made a heads up decision to foul Grant Williams, a 50 percent free-throw shooter, to send him to the line. It was an especially smart play -- Williams missed both free throws -- and NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum was cutting to the 3-point line and would have been open for a game-tying shot if Haliburton didn't foul. 

Haliburton also seems to be perfecting his side-step shot from deep, but that's a different story.

Haliburton's court sense and awareness, combined with his overall talent, helped land the No. 12 overall pick Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors. It was the first time a Kings rookie received the award since Buddy Hield accomplished the feat in March 2017. 

RELATED: Fox looks like All-Star after 38-point effort vs. Pelicans

But the Iowa State product doesn't have much interest in personal accolades.

"It's awesome to have that honor," Haliburton said. "But honestly I couldn't care less. ... It's exciting for me and my family to have that honor, but I just want to win games. We've been winning as of late, and we just got to keep that going because we all want to get Sacramento back to the playoffs."

That's a tall order from a rookie who has played just 21 career games, but Haliburton already is proving he's no ordinary rookie.