Kyrie Irving's second career triple-double came with some interesting stats

Ruben Hill
March 15, 2019

De'Aaron Fox had 19 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals for Sacramento, while Harrison Barnes added 20 points and Marvin Bagley III 14 in his return from a knee injury.

Boston played from behind for most of the first half, but was almost unstoppable for the second half, ultimately beating the Sacramento Kings 126-120 at TD Garden.

For the second time in just over a week, they needed some late-game heroics to fend off a Kings team whose playoff hopes have been fading for weeks. "It's always going to be a dogfight no matter who you're playing against, but obviously when you have a team fighting for playoff position it's going to be that type of intensity and you've got to be ready for it".

Boston sure looked like it was battling those post-road trip blues that Irving alluded to, but its players didn't allow that to be an excuse.

"I thought after the six-minute mark of that quarter we were really dialed in", coach Brad Stevens said. "We suck right now. I thought our double bigs played well together and I thought the lift that Jaylen (Brown) gave us scoring the ball off the bench and we got a lot of good performances in those last 16 minutes". "He looked like he was a little bit exhausted in those first six minutes of the game coming off the (West Coast) trip".

The 6-foot-11 forward missed the Kings' previous five games due to a sprained left knee suffered in an overtime home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on February 27.

He played only 10 minutes in the first half but had 10 points to help the Kings build a 17-point lead. I thought Morris (21 points, 13 rebounds) kind of kept us afloat there for a while, at the end of the first half, start of the third quarter. The Celtics are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 home games, 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a loss of more than 10 points and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight against the Western Conference.

It had its effect. Despite playing on two days' rest, the Celtics were slow on switches on defense and relied on jump shots early.

Irving and the C's will look to stay hot when they host the Hawks on Saturday.

Jaylen Brown added 22 points for the Celtics, while Jayson Tatum had 15, Al Horford 12 and Gordon Hayward 10.

Cauley-Stein recorded a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Kings, who lost their second straight and fell below.500 (33-34) for the first time since January 8.

And much like in the Celtics' 25-point loss against the Clippers on Monday, Sacramento was able to rack up easy transition baskets.

The Kings' leading scorer finish with 34 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Barnes led Sacramento with 11 points in the quarter. Hield added 10, going 4 for 4 from the field and 2 for 2 from deep.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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