Kings lose to Celtics in devastating rout.

The Kings have a chance to exploit a vulnerable adversary they've had for years.

Sacramento (16-9) played Boston (20-6) on Wednesday at Golden 1 Center in the second of a back-to-back sans Jayson Tatum. The Kings missed a wonderful opportunity to beat a squad that has plagued them in recent years, losing 144-119

The Celtics won all four prior games against the Kings before Wednesday's game, including a 128-75 drubbing on Jan. 25, 2022, which Kings fans remember well.

While Wednesday's drubbing wasn't as severe as Sacramento's 50-point loss, it left a bitter taste in the Kings' mouths. Sacramento is 4-0 against NBA powerhouses like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and Oklahoma City Thunder, and during the first half, it appeared like the Kings were ready to add Boston to their remarkable record. Then calamity hit.

That was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking," coach Mike Brown told reporters. After a back-to-back, the Celtics deserve praise. "I thought Boston had it too easy all night. Someone must become weary of it and say something, look guys in the eye, and hold them accountable. I attempted that but failed."

On his 26th birthday, De'Aaron Fox scored 26 first-half points, tying a career-high with six 3-pointers, and seemed to have his greatest game ever

In the second half, the Celtics limited Fox to three points in the last two periods. "They were just physical," Brown said of the Celtics' Fox change. "They piled paint in transition and were violent. Start of game was track meet. No one was playing defense, so they revved it up."

Celtics offense was fine sans Tatum. Jaylen Brown (28), Kristaps Porzingis (24), Jrue Holiday (21) and Payton Pritchard (20) all scored 20+ points.

Sacramento has lost by 20 or more points four times this season, and they lost hard. After an off day on Thursday, the Kings meet the Phoenix Suns at Golden 1 Center on Friday to try to recover from their worst loss of the season.

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