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An interconference contest sees a pair of tough teams take the floor looking to pick up ground in the playoff picture in Beantown. The Sacramento Kings are on the road as they make the trip to face the Boston Celtics Thursday night. Sacramento was beaten 121-115 on the road by Washington Monday night in their last game. Boston was drubbed 140-115 on the road by the Clippers Tuesday night in their last game. The Celtics own a 184-116 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams and have taken the last three meetings, including a 111-109 road win in the first matchup this season on March 6.
Sacramento Kings Hoping to Gain Ground in Playoff Picture
Sacramento dropped to 1-1 on their four-game road swing as they were upended by Washington on the road in their last game. The Kings entered Wednesday ninth in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the Jazz for the final playoff spot. Sacramento trailed by eight after the opening quarter, led by one at the half, and trailed by nine after three quarters only to rally. The Kings led 112-111 with 3:41 to play but ran out of gas as they were outscored 10-3 the rest of the way. Sacramento shot 45.1 percent from the field, including nine of 27 from three-point range, but was hurt by 16 turnovers in the contest. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 points and eight assists in the loss.
Roll the highlights ⤵️ to see Bjelly light up the court 💥
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 12, 2019
The Kings have been solid on the offensive end of the floor this season. Sacramento is 10th in the league in scoring with 113.7 points per game and 14th in rebounding with 45.4 boards per contest. The Kings are 10th with 25.5 assists a night. Sacramento has been below average defensively, ranking 26th by allowing 114.8 points per game. Sacramento is 14th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.2 percent from the floor. The Kings stand tied for 14th in the league with 11.2 three-pointers per game and currently are 4th in three-point shooting at 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Sacramento is just 3-7 in their last 10 games, ranking 7th in the league with 115.5 points per game in that stretch. Buddy Hield has leads the way in that stretch with 23.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game despite shooting 39.4 percent from the floor. Marvin Bagley III continues his strong rookie season with 18.4 points plus nine rebounds per contest while De’Aaron Fox chips in 18.9 points plus 7.9 assists per game in that stretch. The Kings have to get better secondary scoring to help carry the load here.
Boston Celtics Shoot for Win in Return Home
Boston finished their four-game road swing out west with a 3-1 mark as they were blitzed by the Clippers to close the trip. The Celtics enter this one fifth in the Eastern Conference, 10 games behind the Bucks for the lead in the Eastern Conference: they trailed the Raptors by seven games in the Atlantic Division. Boston trailed by six after the opening quarter and saw things go downhill from there. The deficit was 13 at the half, 16 after three quarters and ended up being 25. Boston shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 14 of 36 from three-point range, but allowed the Clippers to burn the nets at a 61.6 percent clip from the floor. Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 26 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
After a 3-1 trip out West, our players are concentrating on the positives they can bring back with them back to Boston. pic.twitter.com/unU3QoCpsL
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 12, 2019
The Celtics are 14th in the league in scoring offense with 112.3 points per game. Boston is 21st in the league in rebounding with 44.5 boards per game and stand 6th with 26.4 assists per contest. Boston is elite on the defensive end: they are 6th in scoring defense, allowing 107.1 points per game. The Celtics are tied for 12th in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.5 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is 4th in three-pointers per game with 12.8 per night while the team is 6th in three-point percentage as they hit 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games as they slumped after the All-Star break. Boston is tied for 24th in scoring offense (108.5 points) and 10th in scoring defense (110.1 points) in that stretch. Kyrie Irving missed three games in the stretch but leads the team in scoring during that run with 22.3 points plus 7.6 assists while shooting 49.7 percent from the floor. Jayson Tatum (13.7 points, 5.3 boards, 44.4 percent shooting) and Al Horford (14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 53.6 percent shooting) are solid contributors but Boston’s perimeter shooting has tailed off of late. In the last 10 games, the Celtics are 17th with 10.8 three-pointers a game but they are just 26th in three-point shooting at 32.6 percent.
- Celtics are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Celtics are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points
- Kings are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Kings are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- Kings are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston upended Sacramento in the dying seconds last week in Sacramento one night after trouncing Golden State. The Celtics go for the season sweep here as they hope to gain a little ground for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Sacramento has work to do in a tough Western Conference playoff race despite having their best season in a decade. The Kings are just 13-19 on the road and they have to be bitter that they led the game against Washington slip away. Boston has too much experience, too much depth and too much talent: giving them home court advantage is too much for Sacramento. The Celtics get back in the win column.
Prediction: Boston Celtics
Full-Game Total Pick
Sacramento has really struggled on the defensive end this season and that has been something that has held them back in games. The Kings are just 26th in scoring defense and come crunch time in the schedule, one can’t expect to win 125-120 on a nightly basis. There are going to be times when tough defense is required. The Celtics are excellent on the defensive end, which has kept them afloat with their offense sputtering. Boston is 24-10 at home this season: can they channel their west coast success into a triumph at home?
The under is 4-0 in the Kings’ last 4 road games, 17-4-1 in their last 22 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 21-5-1 in their last 27 overall and 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up loss. Boston has seen the under go 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up loss, 5-0 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss and 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points. The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings and 13-4 in their last 17 in Boston. Given the way the Celtics can play defense when they’re motivated, look for this one to end up under the total.