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Apr 5, 2024 10:19 pm

Kings rally from 19 down, but Celtics win on late shot

Kings, Celtics

Xavier Tillman’s pull-up jumper with 7.4 seconds left lifted the Boston Celtics to a 101-100 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Celtics (61-16) led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter, but a 16-1 run the opposite way — including two threes by De’Aaron Fox and another by Harrison Barnes — made it interesting down the stretch.

Payton Pritchard scored 21 points on five 3-pointers to lead Boston, which has won four straight. Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Jayson Tatum (17) and Jrue Holiday (10) also scored in double digits for the Celtics.

Fox hit seven 3-pointers and had a game-high 40 points for Sacramento (44-33), which has lost four of its last six and is tied with the Lakers for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

Domantas Sabonis (16 points, 16 rebounds) and Keegan Murray (10 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles. It was Sabonis’ 60th consecutive.

Barnes also scored 10.

Before the visitors’ surge, Boston pushed the game toward its large lead when Pritchard scored five out of seven points including a timeout-inducing three with 6:44 left.

Sabonis hit a breakaway two during an 8-0 Sacramento run that ballooned. Fox banked in a triple with 27 seconds left to give the Kings a 100-99 lead.

Sacramento’s lead was just 8-3 just after the 6:00 mark, but the hosts turned things around with a 24-7 run to close the first quarter and by going 9-for-10 from the field following a 1-for-10 start.

Tillman’s corner 3-pointer gave the Celtics their first lead with 4:43 left, then a Tatum driving dunk in the final seconds resulted in the 27-15 quarter score.

However, Sacramento cut its deficit to just 54-50 at the half. Seven of its 14 second-quarter field goals were 3-pointers, though Pritchard hit two of his own off the bench to keep Boston in front.

Fox went off for a 21-point quarter in which he was 8-for-14 shooting from the field and drained four triples. Two fell during a 17-5 run over the final four minutes before halftime.

Murray also stepped into a 3-pointer during the late stretch, including a 10-2 segment that cut a 12-point lead to four in 1:57.

Boston started the second half on a 12-2 run that saw Holliday hit a turnaround jumper and Al Horford cut inside for a layup to force a timeout at the 9:35 mark.

The visitors didn’t go away, getting back to within four after a Sabonis runner and Fox three at 5:33 to go in the quarter. Boston led 84-72 after three.

–Field Level Media

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