Terry Rozier keeps coming up big for the Boston Celtics.
The 24-year-old has been thrust into a starting role in Kyrie Irving’s absence and has not shied away from the moment.
Rozier once again came up big Sunday, scoring a career-high 33 points to lead the Celtics past the Sacramento Kings 104-93.
Rozier got help from Jaylen Brown (19 points), Al Horford (14 points) and Jayson Tatum (12 points), who all scored in double figures. Boston trailed at halftime despite shooting 60 percent from the field, but a third-quarter takeover by Rozier gave the C’s the lead, and they held off the hard-charging Kings to earn another West Coast win.
The Celtics improve to 50-23, while the Kings fall to 24-50.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Terry Rozier
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION
The Celtics got some good news prior to the game Sunday, as it was announced that Brown would return to the lineup after missing six games with a concussion. Unfortunately, Marcus Morris was ruled out with an ankle injury, but head coach Brad Stevens said he could return Monday against the Phoenix Suns.
Boston started the game shooting 55 percent from the field, but trailed after one quarter due to six turnovers. Brown looked out sorts in his first quarter back, as he picked up three fouls in the opening frame.
Rozier led the Celtics with eight points in the frame, while De’Aaron Fox paced the Kings with eight points of his own.
THE BUDDY SHOW
Sacramento extended its lead in the second frame thanks to an explosion from Buddy Hield off the bench. The Oklahoma product finished the first half going 6-for-8 from the field for 14 points. Hield’s hot shooting gave the Kings a 60-52 lead at the break despite Boston shooting 61.8 percent from the floor and 60 percent from 3-point land in the half.
Rozier led the C’s with 14 points in the half while Tatum added 12.
The C’s continued their hot shooting to start the third quarter, going on a 10-4 run to pull within two. Rozier then drained a 3-pointer to give Boston its first lead since the first quarter at 65-64. Tatum, Brown and Rozier, who hit three triples in a two-minute period, carried the Celtics throughout the quarter, helping grow Boston’s lead to eight with five minutes remaining.
Boston, however, went three minutes without a field goal toward the end of the frame, letting the Kings cut the lead to four with three minutes remaining.
The two teams traded blows to end the frame, with a Vince Carter fadeaway jumper cutting the lead to 80-78 after three.
Rozier led all scorers with 23 points after three, while Hield was Sacramento’s high man with 14.
The Kings continued to fight in the fourth quarter, as a Frank Mason jumper cut the lead to two with 6:27 left. But Sacramento would get no closer, as the C’s responded with a 9-0 run, capped by a Horford trey that gave Boston a 97-86 lead and sank the Kings.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Get your fire extinguishers out.
The Celtics will take the floor again Monday when they face the Suns. Tip-off is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports Images