The Boston Celtics were an unlucky bounce away from extending an historic start to their season. Instead, the Sacramento Kings walked away with a huge victory.
Buddy Hield on Sunday scored a season-high 35 points and Richaun Holmes hit two free throws with 13.3 seconds remaining as the Kings snapped the Celtics’ 10-game winning streak with a 100-99 victory.
Marcus Smart had a chance to win it for Boston, but his runner in the lane bounced around the rim before trickling off as the buzzer sounded.
Photo: Ed Szczepanski-USA Today
“The ball just felt like it sat on the rim forever,” Smart said. “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.”
The Celtics (10-2) lost for the first time since their Oct. 23 opener at Philadelphia. The only other team in NBA history to drop their opener and then rattle off 10 consecutive wins was the 1979-1980 Milwaukee Bucks.
Harrison Barnes had 13 points, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 points and 10 assists for the Kings (5-7), who lost a similarly close game two nights earlier to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Hield hit seven three-pointers and finished just two points off his career high, but Kings coach Luke Walton was most fired up about Hield’s defense on a day Sacramento held Boston to 42 percent shooting (34 for 82) and just 18 points in the first quarter.
“Buddy obviously was spectacular,” Walton said. “We all know he can score and he’s going to have nights like this, but I thought he was so committed to the team winning. The way he was defending, just his all-around game.”
Jaylen Brown scored 18 points and Kemba Walker had 15 for Boston. Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis each added 14.
Down four to start the second half, the Celtics outscored the Kings 29-21 in the third quarter to take a 75-71 advantage entering the fourth.
With 13 seconds remaining and Boston up 99-98, Holmes and Smart went to the floor battling for a rebound, and Smart was called for a foul that set up Holmes for the free throws.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens challenged the foul call, but it was upheld upon a replay review.
Elsewhere, the Lakers downed the Hawks 122-101, the Nuggets mauled the Grizzlies 131-114, the Magic mastered the Wizards 125-121, the Pelicans pipped the Warriors 108-100 and the 76ers crushed the Cavaliers 114-95.
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