Hayward's game-winner lifts Celtics over Kings 111-109
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 07, 2019 01:53 PM
Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, right, goes up for the go-ahead shot against Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield in the closing moments of the Celtics' 111-109 win in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
By Josh Dubow, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gordon Hayward made up for a costly foul by hitting a tie-breaking shot with two seconds to play that helped the Boston Celtics overcome the absence of injured star Kyrie Irving in a 111-109 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time)
Hayward fouled Buddy Hield on a three-point attempt with 7.6 seconds left, allowing the Kings to tie the game. Boston had no timeouts and went the length of the floor to score on Hayward’s bucket.
Harrison Barnes then missed a three at the buzzer, giving the Celtics their second win in two nights to start a four-game California swing.
One night after beating two-time defending champion Golden State by 33 points to open the trip, the Celtics managed to hold off the feisty Kings with Irving sidelined by a bruised left thigh.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 24 points, Al Horford had 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Hayward finished with 12 points. Boston had lost 5-of-6 before beginning this trip.
Barnes scored 24 points and Hield added 23 for the Kings, who have lost 4-of-5 and trail San Antonio by four games in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
The Kings erased a six-point deficit in the final three minutes thanks in part to two drives by De’Aaron Fox and a hustle block by Hield that prevented a fast-break layup for Marcus Smart.
Hield’s free throws then tied the game before Hayward delivered the game-winner for Boston.
The game was tight throughout, with neither team taking a double-digit lead until Hayward scored on a fast-break layup to put Boston up 82-72 late in the third quarter.
The Kings responded with a three from Barnes and a spinning layup from Fox following Harry Giles’ block on Jaylen Brown to cut the deficit in half. Sacramento missed a chance to get even closer when replay wiped out an apparent buzzer-beater by Hield off an inbounds pass with 0.5 seconds left in the quarter.
Sacramento tied the game early in the fourth, setting the stage for the tight finish.
Celtics: Irving was more sore than expected after banging his thigh the previous night at Golden State and was held out. Boston has won seven straight games without its leading scorer in the lineup. ... The Celtics had just three offensive rebounds on 39 misses from the field as they placed a priority on getting back on defense against the speedy Kings.
Kings: Sacramento got off to a fast start, making 14-of-22 shots in the first quarter for a six-point lead. But the Kings went just 6-of-22 in the second and were tied 49-all at halftime. ... Sacramento rookie Marvin Bagley III remains sidelined after spraining his left knee last Wednesday (last Thursday, PHL time). Kings coach Dave Joerger said Bagley is progressing in his rehab but there is no timetable for his return.
Celtics: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).
Kings: At the New York Knicks on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).