Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Friday, December 30th
Game 2: Friday, January 27th

Kings 74

(18-25, 6-14 away)

Celtics 84

(18-25, 14-9 home)

Coverage: CSNS

7:30 PM ET, January 27, 2006

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 25 18 19 1274
BOS 24 17 24 1984

Top Performers

Sac: B. Miller 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

Bos: K. Perkins 13 Pts, 11 Reb, 5 Blk

Celtics win as Artest scores 15 in Kings debut

BOSTON (AP) -- Ron Artest made nice with his new team. He managed to avoid any conflict with the Boston fans.

For a debut, the Sacramento Kings are going to have to consider it a success.

The former Indiana troublemaker scored 15 points in his first game since his antics got him benched in mid-December, but he and the Kings faltered in the fourth quarter on Friday night as the Celtics beat Sacramento 84-74.

"He was well-rested because he's been off for a month now," Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said. "So he got off to a great start but we knew he wasn't in NBA shape so he wore down in the end."

The Celtics had a big debut of their own: Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 points in 24 minutes in his first game since being acquired from Minnesota in a seven-player deal. Szczerbiak arrived at the arena just before the game and wasn't expected to play; he had the wrong color shoes and only put on a uniform, basketball boss Danny Ainge said, because he didn't have a suit that would meet the NBA's dress code.

He finished 4-for-7 from the field, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range, and added three rebounds and a pair of assists.

"He hit some big shots. Helped them win," Artest said. "I can imagine what he was going through. It must have been more intense for him, because it happened so suddenly."

Artest's exile from Indiana was more drawn out.

The catalyst for one of the worst brawl's in NBA history, the 2004 fight in the Detroit stands, Artest finally wore out his welcome with the Pacers when he asked to be traded. The Kings were willing to take a chance on him to save their sinking season, and sent Peja Stojakovic to the Pacers.

Although Artest provided a spark -- scoring seven of the team's first 15 points -- Sacramento made just 4-of-18 shots in the fourth quarter and shot under 31 percent overall in its worst shooting night of the season.

"He did as well as he could," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "He hadn't been working out that much because he didn't expect the trade. I thought he was winded and tried to get him some shorter minutes in the second half."

Artest got the kind of welcome he has long gotten on the road, and is sure to get now when he returns to Indiana with the Kings. The Boston fans booed the first few times he touched the ball; the fact that he carried Sacramento early didn't exactly endear him, either.

But Artest went 1-for-5 from the field in the fourth and the Kings made just four baskets -- on 18 shots -- in the final quarter. Sacramento did not make a basket for 7:19 down the stretch as the Celtics turned a three-point game into a 12-point lead.

Artest was 5-for-14 from the floor overall and 3-for-7 from 3-point range. He had six rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Perkins had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Raef LaFrentz had 12 and 10 in their first game without having to share time underneath with Mark Blount, who went to Minnesota with Ricky Davis.

Brad Miller scored 22 to lead the Kings, and Kenny Thomas had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Bibby, who had averaged more than 30 points in the previous seven games, was 2-for-14 from the field and had just six points.

Artest hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to give Sacramento a 46-41 lead. But Boston cut the lead to one and then went on a 13-2 run to take a 65-55 with three minutes left in the third.

Artest came back into the game and Sacramento scored the next seven points to cut the deficit to three points.

Game notes

The Kings had not lost to Boston since 2003. ... Perkins had a double-double in less than three quarters. ... Boston's Tony Allen made his first start of the season. ... It was Boston's first home sellout since November. ... Pierce needs eight more points to pass Jo Jo White and move into ninth on the Celtics all-time scoring list. ... Artest's first points as a King were a 25-footer 1:58 into the game to make it 4-4. Szczerbiak didn't come into the game until there was 3:30 left in the first half and he sank his first basket in the third. ... Michael Olowokandi, who also came over in the Minnesota deal, did not play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 74 84
FGM-FGA 23-75 (.307) 32-76 (.421)
3PM-3PA 5-20 (.250) 5-19 (.263)
FTM-FTA 23-30 (.767) 15-19 (.789)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-31 15-53
Assists 16 15
Turnovers 16 24
Steals 14 7
Blocks 2 7
Fast Break Points 7 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 15

Top Performers

Brad Miller Miller
Points: 22
Reb: 2
Ast: 5
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Kendrick Perkins Perkins
Points: 13
Reb: 11
Ast: 0
Stl: 0
Blk: 5