Sacramento fell to 1-2 on their six-game road trip and 7-12 overall Friday night when they lost to the Boston Celtics by a final of 97-92 at TD Garden.
Al Horford showed a new wrinkle to his game, stepping out and hitting 4-of-7 from long range. The veteran big finished the night with 26 points, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Celtics as they improved to 11-8 on the season.
Former Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas started off slowly, but still managed to drop in 20 points and hand out seven assists.
Jae Crowder added 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting and Avery Bradley hit the Kings for 15 points and nine rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins came into the contest with four straight games of 30 points or more, tying Kings greats Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond for the Sacramento-era record. The Kings All-Star center fell just short of setting a new high, finishing the night with 28 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
Darren Collison quietly posted a solid night, dropping in 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting and Rudy Gay squeaked out a tough 13 points and eight rebounds, but the second unit was the real story of this game for Sacramento.
Matt Barnes came off the bench to stuff the stat sheet. The 36-year-old veteran scored 12 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, handed out five assists and swiped two steals in 31 minutes of action with the second unit. He was active from the moment he stepped on the court.
Barnes wasn’t the only one off the bench to make a huge impact. Willie Cauley-Stein ran the floor and his teammates found him for easy baskets at the rim. He finished with six points on 3-of-5 shooting. Omri Casspi ran the floor and launched from three on his way to seven points and five rebounds.
Ty Lawson handed out four assists and scored eight points, while Garrett Temple played stellar defense as the Kings bench outscored the Celtics bench 33-12.
Horford burned the Kings early and he burned them late. He ran the floor, blocked shots and played tough defense all night.
With 7:08 remaining, Cousins caught an elbow near the right eye and had to leave the game to get treatment. He returned a little over two minutes later, but the Celtics had already pushed the lead to eight. Sacramento drew to within three late, but didn’t get a foul call on a blocked 3-point attempt from Cousins inside of 10 seconds to play.
Cousins likely needed stitches, but the Kings’ training staff used temporary glue to close the wound and taped him up which allowed him to return to the floor.
Sacramento continues their shortened five-game road trip when they take on the New York Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. They have a two-day break before facing the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center.