BOSTON – The Boston Celtics enjoyed a season-high scoring day to keep their current winning stretch rolling along.
Avery Bradley scored 25 points, Isiah Thomas had 22 and the Celtics held off the Kings 128-119 on Sunday for their ninth victory in 10 games.
“Whenever you get a chance to run up and down and move the ball like we did tonight, it’s fun,” Bradley said. “And not only that, we were making shots. When everybody’s making shots, everybody’s happy.”
The loss may also fuel recent reports on the shaky status of Sacramento coach George Karl’s future.
Jared Sullinger matched his season high with 21 points, reserve Tyler Zeller had a season high 17 with seven rebounds and Thomas added nine assists for Boston, which committed a season high 24 turnovers but shot 56 percent.
“The one thing is our offense has been pretty good the last 10 games,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “I don’t think we’re 128 points good. We’re probably due for games like that. You’re going to have games like the other night when we’re struggling to get to 100.”
Boston’s previous high was 120 points in a win over Brooklyn on Nov. 20.
DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 31 points. Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison each had 16 points. The Kings have lost seven of eight, prompting rumors about Karl’s possible firing in the near future.
“We’re in a losing mode,” Karl said. “We’re losing games, but our basketball has not been bad basketball. It’s been not-good-enough-to-win basketball, which happens in the NBA every night. Just because you lose doesn’t mean you don’t play good basketball.”
Nuggets 101, Knicks 96
In New York, rookie Emmanuel Mudiay scored nine of his 15 points during a decisive fourth-quarter run, and Denver beat the fading Knicks.
Clippers 100, Heat 93
In Miami, Chris Paul had a game-high 22 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench and Los Angeles beat the Heat.
Magic 96, Hawks 94
In Orlando, Nik Vucevic hit an 18-footer at the buzzer and the Magic beat the Hawks.