The lowly Kings scored 41 points in the third quarter while Marcus Thornton poured in a game-high 36 points helping Sacramento embarrass the Celtics, 120-95, Friday night at Arco Arena. The news got worse as Paul Pierce suffered an injured right ankle late in the fourth quarter, leaving with what the team termed a "mild right ankle sprain" with 6:24 left.
Ray Allen led the Celtics with 26 points and Pierce added 19 but Rajon Rondo was off his game, scoring just four points while dishing out 12 assists. He and the Celtics were unable to handle the Kings backcourt, which got out in transition early and often.
The Celtics went on a 9-2 run to end the second quarter to close within one, 52-51, highlighted by Allen's 3-pointer. But Sacramento came out on an 18-1 run to start the third and outscored the Celtics, 41-23 in the third quarter. The 41 points is the most points allowed by Boston in any quarter this season. Thanks to 21 points from Jason Thompson and 20 from DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings scored 68 points in the second half.
What makes Friday night all the more painful is the fact that both Philadelphia and Indiana lost earlier in the evening, two teams within reach in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics fall to 2-2 on their season-long eight-game road trip and drop to 23-20 on the season. The Kings won for just the 15th time this season, improving to 15-29. Only New Orleans - with an 10-34 mark - is worse in the Western Conference.
The Kings had lost eight straight to the Celtics before Friday's contest. The road gets tougher for the Celtics, as they lose an hour and travel East to play the Nuggets on Saturday night. The Nuggets lead the NBA in scoring.