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 win.
Buddy Hield scored a season-high 35 points, Richaun Holmes hit two free throws with 13.3 seconds remaining to give Sacramento the lead, and the Kings snapped the Celtics’ 10-game winning streak with a 100-99 victory Sunday.
Marcus Smart had an oportunity to win it for Boston, but his runner in the lane bounced around the rim before trickling off as the buzzer sounded.
”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 its opener and then rattle off 10 consecutive victories was the 1979-80 Milwaukee Bucks.
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Harrison Barnes had 13 points and 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 3-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% 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.”
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.