The Boston Celtics knew their winning streak would end at some point, but they didn’t think it would happen on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings. Marcus Smart’s last-second shot rolled off the rim to give the Kings a 100-99 win over Boston. The loss is the first time the Celtics lost a game since losing their season-opener to the 76ers.
“The ball just felt like it sat on the rim forever,” Smart said of his attempted buzzer-beater. “I thought it was going in. I think everybody thought it was going in and it just rolled out. It was just one of those games.”
Boston’s issues were primarily on the defensive end of the floor, as they had no answer for Sacramento’s Buddy Hield. The Kings shooting guard scored a game-high 35 points for the home team, knocking down seven of his 12 shots from three-point range.
Meanwhile, Boston point guard Kemba Walker had an off night. Despite averaging close to 24 points per game and shooting over 41% from the perimeter, Walker managed just 15 points and missed all three of his three-point attempts. Smart and Jayson Tatum combined to go 2 for 12 from the outside didn’t help either.
On the bright side, Boston’s 10-game winning streak helped them to catapult to the top of the Atlantic Division standings. Despite Sunday’s loss, the Celtics have a two-game cushion over the Raptors at the top of the division, not to mention the most wins in the Eastern Conference.
Of course, there is no time for the Celtics to dwell on their second loss of the season. The team’s five-game west-coast road trip continues with a game Monday night against the Phoenix Suns. They’ll also visit the Clippers and Nuggets later this week. The Celtics will get a chance at redemption next Monday when they return home for a rematch with Hield and the Kings.