LAS VEGAS — The Celtics had little to offer in the second half, allowing the Kings to make a 16-2 run over the third and fourth quarters in a 91-82 Thursday at Thomas & Mack Center. Dionte Christmas again led the Celtics with 19 points but they shot just 39 percent and outrebounded 52-37.
The Celtics are now 6-2 overall in summer league, 2-1 in Las Vegas.
Boston was without E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Sean Williams, who were held out because of a potential trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire Courtney Lee, limiting the Celtics to nine players.
Johnson was not present at Thomas & Mack Center while Moore and Williams arrived dressed but both were told about the deal and sent back to the hotel.
Jared Sullinger again struggled from the field (2-for-7) and lost his matchup to Final Four foe Thomas Robinson, one of five Kings in double figures with 15 points along with 16 rebounds. Sullinger experienced trouble in the post against the bigger Robinson, the same issue he faced during Ohio State’s matchup with Kansas in the Final Four.
Sullinger was getting visibly frustrated for non-calls during his post moves and summer league coach Tyronn Lue said he has made it a priority to keep Sullinger’s emotions in check.
“I talked to him after the game and said ‘you can’t get frustrated, you can’t drop your head and pout if things don’t go your way,’” Lue said. “We’re trying to post him. I told guys if he’s open we want to get the ball to him in the post. You can’t pout, you can’t drop your head and mope around. They’ll be plenty of time in the game where, you might not post at all with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and (Rajon) Rondo on the floor. You might not get one post-up.”
Center Fab Melo was the victim of a vicious Robinson attack of the basket, bruising his left hand trying to block the dunk attempt. Melo left the game in the third quarter and a club spokesman said the injury is day-to-day. Melo said he will undergo X-rays as a precaution.