Boston Celtics

Celtics-Kings takeaways: White leads explosive C's offense in bounce-back win

Derrick White and the Celtics were on fire from beyond the arc in Sacramento.

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Three Key Storylines

  • Raining 3-pointers
  • Derrick White building his All-Star case
  • Kristaps Porzingis shines in return

For the first time in over a month, the Boston Celtics have won a game on the road.

The C's bounced back from Tuesday's crushing overtime loss at Golden State with a thrilling victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, 144-119. Their blowout win snaps a four-game losing skid away from TD Garden.

The high-scoring affair -- Boston tallied its second-highest scoring total of the season -- was highlighted by historic 3-point shooting from both sides. Boston and Sacramento went a combined 43-for-86 (50 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Celtics put on a show despite missing both Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Al Horford (rest). They were led offensively by Derrick White (28 points), Jaylen Brown (28 points), Kristaps Porzingis (24 points), Jrue Holiday (21 points), and Payton Pritchard (20 points).

De'Aaron Fox paced the Kings with 29 points on his 26th birthday, with 26 of those points coming in the first half.

🔊 Celtics Talk: POSTGAME POD: 'Focused' Celtics 'impose their will' on Kings in bounce-back win | Listen & Subscribe

Next, the Celtics (21-6) will head to L.A. for a showdown with the Clippers (17-10). Before we turn the page to that matchup, here are three quick takeaways from Wednesday's win.

A 3-point shootout

Both teams were scorching from 3-point range, particularly during the entertaining first half.

In the first quarter, the Celtics shot 8-for-12 from long range while the Kings went 11-for-21. Their 19 combined 3-pointers tied the NBA record for most in a single quarter.

The red-hot shooting continued at a record-setting pace in the second quarter. Boston (14-24) and Sacramento (14-30) tied the NBA record for most made 3s in a half with 28.

C's guards White (4-5 3-PT in first half) and Pritchard (4-7 3-PT) and Kings star Fox (5-7 3-PT) were most responsible for the historic 3-point stretch. That trio combined for 18 3-point makes (six apiece) in the game.

The Celtics ended up shooting 22-for-42 (52.4 percent) on 3s while the Kings went 21-for-44 (47.7 percent). The 43 combined 3-point makes was only one shy of the NBA record.

Boston is now 19-0 this season it shoots at least 33.3 percent from long range.

Derrick White adds to All-Star case

Remember when Derrick White was snubbed from ESPN's "NBA Top 100"? That looks even more silly now than it did at the time.

At this point, White is starting to make a legitimate case for an All-Star spot. His sensational season got better on Wednesday. He exploded for 21 first-half points (16 in first quarter) while drilling five of his six 3-point attempts.

White's All-Defensive talents were also on display as he blocked three shots through the first two frames. According to Celtics stats guru Dick Lipe, it's only the fourth time in the play-by-play era that a player has made five 3-pointer and blocked three shots in a first half. He tallied four blocks on the night.

White finished with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting (6-9 3-PT), nearly tying his career-high of 30 for the third time this month. He entered December with only one 30+ point performance in his career. His 58 points over his last two games is a career-high.

In addition to his stellar shooting and defensive performances, White shined as a playmaker. He dished seven assists, including five in the third quarter.

You can bet ESPN won't forget about White when it puts together its next Top 100 list.

Abby Chin catches up with Derrick White in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview following the Celtics' 144-119 win over the Kings.

Kristaps Porzingis has "Unicorn" performance

The Celtics rested Porzingis for Tuesday's game at Golden State to manage his left calf injury. The Latvian big man returned to action in Sacramento and was dominant.

Porzingis' presence was felt early when he blocked a Fox layup with Boston trailing by 12 in the first quarter. His block led to a Jaylen Brown dunk on a fast break that started a 13-0 Celtics run and swung the momentum in Boston's favor for the remainder of the night.

There was a brief scare in the third quarter after Porzingis awkwardly landed on Kings big man Damontas Sabonis Domantas Sabonis. He appeared to tweak his ankle on the play -- similar to how Tatum injured his ankle on Tuesday -- but he stayed in the game.

Unlike Tatum, Porzingis didn't appear to be affected by his injury. He proceeded to go off for 12 points, five rebounds, and three blocks in the frame. He and Brown combined to score 29 of Boston's 39 third-quarter points.

Porzingis finished the game with 24 points (7-11 FG), nine rebounds, and a season-high six blocks -- one shy of his career-high. The ankle situation is worth monitoring heading into Saturday's game vs. the Clippers, but he sure looked healthy as he ended up having perhaps his best game thus far as a Celtic.

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