SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Terry Rozier scored a season-high 33 points and nearly matched the Celtics’ franchise record for 3-pointers, Jaylen Brown made consecutive buckets to break open a close game in the fourth quarter, and Boston held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 104-93 on Sunday.
Making his sixth start in place of injured All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, Rozier shot 12 of 16, including 8 of 12 on 3s, in the rookie’s most impressive game of the season. Rozier, who had been averaging 16.2 points in Irving’s absence, also had five rebounds and three assists.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2018
The eight 3s were one shy of the Celtics’ single-game record of nine shared by Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker. One of Rozier’s missed 3s came on a rushed attempt with the shot clock winding down early in the fourth.
Brown had 19 points in his return after missing two weeks with a concussion. Al Horford scored 14 points while Jayson Tatum added 12 points and seven rebounds to help Boston win in Sacramento for the first time since Feb. 1, 2011.
Rozier’s big game came 24 hours after Irving underwent surgery to remove a tension wire in his left knee. Irving is expected to miss three to six weeks.
“Nah.” -Horford pic.twitter.com/vRv5xdpPt7
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 25, 2018
Boston, which began the day 4 1/2 games behind Toronto for the top spot in the East, won for the fourth time in five games.
Buddy Hield scored 24 points for Sacramento, and Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere had 14 points apiece. The Kings had won five straight home games against the Celtics and entered the fourth quarter down 80-78 before being held to 13 points in the final frame.
Two days after protesters formed a human chain blocking entrances to Golden1 Center and prevented all but about 1,500 fans from entering, things were back to normal in and outside the arena. Metal barricades were extended further out than usual to form a bigger perimeter but that was the only indication that anything had happened.
Celtics: Brown went to the bench with three fouls in the opening seven minutes of the first quarter.
Kings: Zach Randolph did not play for the second consecutive game. Garrett Temple was also held out and missed his second straight since spraining his left ankle in practice Thursday.
Celtics: At Phoenix on Monday night.
Kings: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.