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The royal treatment

The royal treatment
Celtics 108, Kings 63

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - You say you're feeling tired and run down? You say the road has been rising up to meet you with a series of left hooks? Don't worry, bunky.

Take four quarters against the Sacramento Kings and call room service in the morning.

The Celtics were good last night. The Kings were the Kings. That added up to a 108-63 slice of destruction and a welcome bit of relief after losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Garnett (21 points) made 10-of-11 shots, and Ray Allen (19) hit his first seven in a 7-for-8 night. The now 7-24 Kings? They were flirting with NBA-record depths before hitting a few during garbage time. As it was, their 27.9 percent shooting was a Celtic opponent low for the season. Heck, it was the low by any team in the NBA this season.

The Celts kept the hammer down and easily eclipsed their previous high margin of victory this season - a 34-pointer in Washington on Dec. 11.

The final spread is tied for the sixth-greatest in C's history, and the 51-pointer over Philadelphia in 1962 looked to be in reach.

Considering the circumstances, you knew the Celtics were going to come out intent on getting this one. But 45 points?

``It wasn't personal,'' said Paul Pierce with a slight grin.

After the laughter had died down, he added, ``It's all business. We just came with that workman attitude, man. You know, guys got a lot of pride in here. We don't want to lose two in a row ever. That's just the way it ended up tonight.''

The Celts were ahead by a modest six after one quarter, and this time the bench turned it up a notch.

Eddie House finished with 15 points, and the crew also came through with the defense, turning the Kings over seven times in the second quarter while the lead swelled to 25 at the half.

``We needed it,'' coach Doc Rivers said. ``It was good to get one on the road out west. I thought our guys came in with amazing focus. You could see it all game. Offensively, extra passes. Defensively, everyone was focused. It was a good team win for us. I just told our guys to keep their focus and reject showtime, please. And they did.''

Regardless of the alleged competition, this was a large win for the Celtics.

``Especially after losing two in a row,'' Pierce said. ``We're a little disappointed with the way we played the last couple of days, so it was good to get back on the right track and play the way we did tonight.''

The Kings' shooting was contagious to everyone but the Celtics, who hit 51.9 percent for the game.

Twice Olympian Michael Phelps came out of the front row to take halfcourt shots during timeouts. He missed all of his attempts, whereupon the Kings tried to sign him to a 10-day contract.

At yet another break in the action, Phelps received a key to the city from new mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson.

For their efforts, the Kings each received a map with directions out of town.

The Celtics had their own celebrities in tow, with multi-media star Donnie Wahlberg and Garden season-ticket holders Marty Joyce and wife Lisa on the baseline near their bench.

They got to watch the Celts improve to 28-4 and maintain their one-game lead on Cleveland in the East.


Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008


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