Preview: Kings to face dominant Celtics at unideal time

Apr 5, 2024, 8:47 AM | Updated: 10:37 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 20: Derrick White #9 of the Boston Celtics dribbling the ball whi...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Not even 24 hours after blowing a 21-point lead during a loss to the New York Knicks, the Sacramento Kings need a bounce-back performance.

Unfortunately for the Kings, the NBA schedule-makers didn’t do them any favors, as they will play the second night of a back-to-back on Friday night against the Boston Celtics–owner of the best record in the league (60-16).

The Celtics, who have already wrapped up home-court advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs, enter play against Sacramento with the NBA’s best home record (33-3) as they look to hand the Kings a third-straight loss at TD Garden.

Boston has not been a fun place for Sacramento, as the Kings have dropped 14 of their past 15 games when facing the Celtics on the road.

Another loss for Sacramento (44-32) would be costly, as the Beam Team enters play on Friday just a half-game ahead of the ninth-seed Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference standings. A Kings loss paired with a Lakers win on Saturday would push Sacramento into the single-elimination nine vs. ten-seed Play-In game with five games remaining on the regular season schedule.

Can the Kings hand Boston a rare loss on their home floor, or will they move closer to the uncertainty of the NBA Play-In Tournament?

Kings let 21-point lead slip away as Knicks complete comeback

Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics Game Info

When: 4:30 PM PST

Where: TD Garden  – Boston, MA

TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 3:00 PM on Game Night

Line: Celtics -9.5, O/U 223.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Celtics coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from Boston.

Defend The Three

While the Sacramento Kings might have a problem living and dying by the three-ball, the Boston Celtics have mostly just lived by the three this season.

Boston enters play on Friday as the NBA’s leader in made three-point field goals by a wide margin, as their 1,260 made triples are more than 100 ahead of the second-place Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics average 16.6 made three-point field goals per game, a number that sounds ridiculous you realize that only four teams have averaged 16+ made triples per game for an entire season:

  • 2018-19 Houston Rockets (16.1)
  • 2020-21 Utah Jazz (16.7)
  • 2022-23 Boston Celtics (16.0)
  • 2022-23 Golden State Warriors (16.6)

YouTube video

During the lone regular season matchup between these two teams on December 20th, the Kings did an abysmal job protecting the perimeter as the Celtics caught fire, finishing the night 22-of-42 (52%) from deep en route to a 114-119 blowout win at Golden 1 Center.

For Boston, the recipe for success has been simple: If the triples fall, wins follow.

In games that the Celtics have made at least 40 percent of their attempts from three-point range, they hold a staggering record of 35-1 (.972), meaning that a 40 percent clip almost certainly spells the end for opposing defenses.

Sacramento surely will focus on perimeter defense on Friday and force Boston into the paint, an area that they have struggled to score this season. The Celtics 46.9 paint points per game come in at 29th out of 30 teams, only ahead of the lowly Memphis Grizzlies.

Tatum & Brown

Update: Jaylen Brown (hand) has been ruled out for Fridays game.

When the Kings suffered a blowout loss to Boston in December, MVP candidate Jayson Tatum didn’t play due to an injury. This time, Tatum will be in uniform at TD Garden.

Tatum has been a thorn in Sacramento’s side over the past few seasons as the forward is averaging 33.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assist per game on 61/48/70 shooting splits during four head-to-head matchups with the Kings since 2021-22.

Fellow All-Star Jaylen Brown has also been a problem for Sacramento, scoring 25+ points in his past five games against the Kings–including 28 points over 29 minutes on December 20th.

YouTube video

Limiting Tatum and Brown will be critical on Friday, as Sacramento will want to take the All-Star duo out of its comfort zone and force players like Derrick White, Kristaps Porzingis, and Al Horford to beat them.

Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done, but the Kings will have to try their best to slow down the one-two punch that very well could be on its way to leading Boston to the NBA Finals.

Kings vs. Celtics Injury Report


  • Malik Monk – OUT (Right knee sprain)
  • Kevin Huerter – OUT (left shoulder dislocation)
  • Mason Jones – OUT (G-League)
  • Jalen Slawson – OUT (G-League)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)


  • Jaylen Brown – OUT (left hand sprain)
  • Derrick White – OUT (low back contusion)
  • Jaden Springer – OUT (left knee tendinopathy)
  • Neemias Queta – OUT (G-League)
  • Drew Peterson – OUT (G-League)
  • JD Davison – OUT (G-League)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, April 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, April 7th – Sacramento Kings @ Brooklyn Nets – 4:30 PM PST
  • Tuesday, April 9th – Sacramento Kings @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 5:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, April 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 7:00 PM PST

Thank you for reading Follow us on Twitter and Google News, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 17: Acting head coach Doug Christie of the Sacramento Kings looks...

Brenden Nunes

Kings Summer League team records 31 turnovers in loss to Memphis

In their first game in Las Vegas, the 2024 Sacramento Kings summer league team committed 31 turnover en route to a 103-83 loss to Memphis.

4 hours ago

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MARCH 01: Malik Monk #0 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball against ...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Emirates NBA Cup 2024: Group Draw Results for the Kings

The NBA has released the groups for this season's Emirates NBA Cup. Who will the Sacramento Kings face in their group play?

5 hours ago

Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards shoots in front of Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento ...

Amiliano Fragoso

National NBA Insider believes Kings aren’t done making big roster moves yet

Are the Sacramento Kings done making big splashes in the trade market? Brett Siegel remains curious as to what's next for Sacramento.

10 hours ago

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Keon Ellis #23 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles during the second ha...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Sacramento Kings NBA Las Vegas Summer League Schedule

The Sacramento Kings will begin NBA Las Vegas Summer League play this weekend. Here's the full schedule for the Beam Team:

13 hours ago

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 17: Acting head coach Doug Christie of the Sacramento Kings looks...

Brenden Nunes

Sacramento Kings announce 2024 Las Vegas Summer League roster

With the California Classic completed, the Kings are onto their next offseason event. Their 2024 Las Vegas Summer League roster is here.

1 day ago

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 17: Devin Carter #22 of the Providence Friars looks on during th...

Brenden Nunes

Report: Sacramento’s Devin Carter will miss approximately six months

After undergoing successful left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, Kings' rookie Devin Carter is expected to miss roughly six months.

1 day ago

Preview: Kings to face dominant Celtics at unideal time