The Boston Celtics weren’t playing up to their standard as their six-game road trip led them into Sacramento on Tuesday night.
But with a matchup against the upstart Kings, who don’t resemble the Kings of the last decade or so as they sit in third place in the Western Conference, the Celtics wanted to show they are a tier above their opponent and hand out a reminder they are a true NBA title contender.
They certainly accomplished that task over 48 minutes.
Behind the play of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who notched 36 and 27 points, respectively, the Celtics put together a stellar performance and ran away from the Kings with a 132-109 victory at Golden 1 Center to close out their road trip.
“We dropped a couple games on this trip that we probably shouldn’t have,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin as seen on the network’s postgame coverage. “The Sacramento Kings have been playing good basketball. So, we wanted to come in here and make a little bit of a statement.”
It was Boston’s best showing post All-Star break as they led by as much as 27 points in the fourth quarter. The Celtics held the Kings to 12 points below their league-best scoring average and didn’t allow any player on Sacramento to score more than 18 points.
Boston’s offense was humming, too, due to pristine ball movement. The Celtics recorded 32 assists on 49 made baskets and turned the ball over only five times.
The Celtics sure looked like the team that owned the best record in the NBA for a majority of the season before tailing off recently and it was a sight Brown was glad to see.
“That looked like the team I recognized,” Brown said. “We came out, we played 48 minutes. We didn’t take our foot off the gas. We took care of business, ended the road trip well. Get back home and take care of business again.”
The Celtics are off until Friday when they will host the Indiana Pacers. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.