February 8

Celtics top Sacramento 99-89 for third straight win

Without Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger carrier the team with 31 points and 16 rebounds.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Jared Sullinger scored a career-high 31 points and added 16 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics went on a 15-0 fourth-quarter run for a 99-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night and their longest winning streak in more than two months.

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Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless dives for a loose ball during the first half against the Sacramento Kings on Friday in Boston.

The Associated Press

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Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) celebrates with teammates Jerryd Bayless (11) and Kelly Olynyk (41) after scoring during the second half against the Sacramento Kings on Friday in Boston. Sullinger scored 31 points, and the Celtics won 99-89.

The Associated Press

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Jerryd Bayless added 19 points and Jeff Green had 17 for the Celtics, who won their third straight game for the first time since Dec. 3-8.

And they did it without their starting backcourt.

Rajon Rondo (soreness) and Avery Bradley (ankle) both sat out, allowing Bayless and rookie Phil Pressey to run the offense.

DeMarcus Cousins had 31 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who had won two straight. Isaiah Thomas had 24 points for Sacramento, and Derrick Williams had 11 points and 12 boards.

Rondo had played in eight games since missing nearly a year with a torn ACL, and the four-time All Star has been rounding into form, averaging 13.5 points, 10.5 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in Boston’s last two games.

But it was Sullinger who looked like the All Star in the second half.

The second-year forward strung together six straight points during a 10-0 run that handed the Celtics a 59-52 lead midway through the third quarter.

Boston came out firing in the fourth, opening an early 11-point lead on the heels of two 3-pointers from Bayless, who also displayed his defensive skills when he hustled back on a break to block a wide-open layup by Ben McLemore with 7:45 to play.

That only further sparked the Celtics – and Sullinger in particular.

He followed the swat with a rebound and putback, delivered a three-point play, hit a 3-pointer and added a fadeaway jumper from the baseline to help preserve the lead.

Sacramento was missing one of its top threats as well. Rudy Gay sat out with an illness.

CAVALIERS 115, WIZARDS 113: Dion Waiters scored 24 points and Kyrie Irving had 23 points and tied a career high with 12 assists as the Cleveland broke a six-game skid with a win at Washington.

MAGIC 103, THUNDER 102: Tobias Harris slammed home a fast-break pass from Maurice Harkless at the buzzer to give host Orlando a victory over Oklahoma City.

With the Thunder leading 102-101 in the closing seconds, Kevin Durant missed a jumper to set up the last-second play.

LAKERS 112, 76ERS 98: Steve Nash scored a season-high 19 points and Los Angeles won at Philadelphia.

Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman each scored 17 and six Lakers finished with double-digit points.

Philadelphia lost its fifth straight game.

PACERS 118, TRAIL BLAZERS 113: George Hill had a career-high 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading Indiana to an overtime win at home over Portland.

KNICKS 117, NUGGETS 90: Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in three quarters, then watched from the bench as host New York ran away from his old team in the fourth quarter.

PISTONS 111, NETS 95: Andre Drummond had 15 points and 21 assists, Brandon Jennings narrowly missed a triple-double and host Detroit beat Brooklyn.

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Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (16) and Quincy Acy on Friday in Boston.

The Associated Press


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