Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/19

Game 1: Friday, January 19th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 20th

Kings 96

(15-22, 5-11 away)

Celtics 91

(12-26, 4-14 home)

    Coverage: CSNS

    7:30 PM ET, January 19, 2007

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 21 20 21 3496
    BOS 22 22 23 2491

    Top Performers

    Sac: M. World Peace 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: D. West 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Celtics plummet to league-worst 4-14 home record

    Associated Press

    BOSTON (AP) -- Kevin Martin kept the Kings from losing another close game.

    Martin scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Ron Artest added 19 points and 11 rebounds to help Sacramento snap a seven-game losing streak with a 96-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

    Sacramento shot 73 percent in the fourth quarter to outscore Boston 34-24 and avoid losing eight straight for the first time since dropping 12 in a row in the 1997-98 season. Martin made all five of his shots in the quarter, and Artest and Brad Miller each scored eight.

    "We played with a sense of urgency," Martin said. "We just had to get one any way we could."

    Although the Kings never trailed after a pair of Artest free throws made it 85-83 with 2:49 left, the win wasn't secured until the closing moments.

    The Celtics pulled to within 91-88 on Ryan Gomes' three-point play with 21.8 seconds left, but Martin took the inbounds pass from Miller and zoomed down the floor for a layup before the Celtics had a chance to foul him and send him to the free-throw line.

    "Kevin and Brad had great eye contact, and Brad's one of our better passers," Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said. "He threw the thing at a perfect angle, and Kevin obviously did what he's supposed to do."

    Martin was fouled on the layup, and his free throw made it 94-89. The result was the Kings first win since beating New York on Jan. 2. Sacramento had lost three games in overtime during that stretch while dropping into last place in the Pacific Division.

    Boston lost its sixth straight and fell to an NBA-worst 4-14 at home. The Celtics haven't won in Boston since beating Denver on Dec. 15.

    Delonte West led the Celtics with 25 points, while Al Jefferson had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Gomes added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Kings trailed 78-73 midway through the fourth, but went on a 10-2 run to take the lead.

    Boston tied it at 83 with 3:05 left on West's 3-pointer, but Artest made his go-ahead free throws the next time down the floor.

    "It's just all the mistakes that we've been making that's costing us the game," Jefferson said. "We go out there and play three quarters wonderfully, but at the end of the game it's just the little mistakes."

    In his first game since missing four with a sore back, West shot 10-of-16 from the floor and added six assists in 39 minutes.

    His nine third-quarter points -- including an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer with two defenders in his face -- helped Boston take a 67-62 lead into the fourth.

    But West and Jefferson were both held to three points apiece in the fourth.

    "We pulled up and got nonagressive and they stole one from us," West said. "We have to get stops, and we don't have that mentality right now. And it's going to continue to cost us games until we do."

    Game notes

    Boston guard Paul Pierce said before the game he hopes to return the first week of February. Pierce has missed 14 games with a left foot stress reaction, and the team said earlier this week that he could be out until the All-Star break. ... Sebastian Telfair is the only Celtics player to play in all 38 games. ... Sacramento plays in Detroit on Saturday. It will be Artest's first game at the Palace of Auburn Hills since the brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Pistons fans on Nov. 19, 2004. ... Boston has won one home game since November.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 91
    FGM-FGA 38-77 (.494) 37-77 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 5-10 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 18-25 (.720) 12-14 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-35 11-41
    Assists 22 22
    Turnovers 9 15
    Steals 8 5
    Blocks 2 6
    Fast Break Points 7 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 6

    Top Performers

    Metta World Peace World Peace
    Points: 19
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Delonte West West
    Points: 25
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0