Undermanned Kings buck slow start with scorching finish to halt Celtics' win run at seven
Matt Barnes helped the scrappy Kings pull away late over the Celtics. AP

DESPITE a depleted lineup and a slow start, the Sacramento Kings proved strong enough to end the Boston Celtics’ seven-game win run, riding a late surge to a 108-92 victory at the Golden 1 Center on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time)

Already without injured Rudy Gay for the season, the Kings also played with no DeMarcus Cousins, who was suspended one game after getting his 16th technical foul in their previous match. The Celtics took advantage early to lead by as much as 10 in the second quarter. But Ty Lawson and Ben McLemore sparked a strong push for Sacramento to tie the game at 49 heading into the second half.

The Kings also lost Lawson at the break due to a hamstring strain but still closed the third with an 11-5 run to carry a seven-point lead into the final frame. Boston, though, kept close and trailed by only two, 80-78, early in the fourth before Sacramento went on a 16-1 run midway through the period to pull away with a 17 point lead, 96-79.

Sacramento cruised from there, leading by as much as 20 points, and the lead never dipped below 14 until the buzzer.

Darren Collison matched his season-high with 26 points, while McLemore finished with 17 markers off the bench for the Kings (21-32). Matt Barnes and Willie Cauley-Stein added 14 apiece.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston (33-19) with 26 points, 17 in the first half. Amir Johnson added 14 markers, while Al Horford and Marcus Smart each scored 10.

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