Marcus Smart connected on a driving layup with 31.1 seconds remaining and followed with a key steal to lead the host Boston Celtics past the Sacramento Kings 103-102 Monday night.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 24 points, Jayson Tatum added 20, and Smart and Enes Kanter were also in double figures with 17 and 13, respectively, as the Celtics won for the second time in their past five games.
Boston played without point guard Kemba Walker, who was ruled out a couple hours before tipoff due to a neck sprain.
Buddy Hield enjoyed a big night for the Kings with a career-high 41 points and a franchise-record 11 3-pointers. Harrison Barnes added 20 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 13 points and eight assists for Sacramento, which lost for the third time in its past eight.
Hield took over in the second half, scoring 21 of his team’s 29 points in the third quarter alone. His 10th 3-pointer — the most ever in a game against the Celtics — got the Kings within 95-93 with 3:17 left in the fourth.
After a pair of Smart free throws, Hield drilled his 11th from deep to cut the Boston lead to one. Boston got a basket from Brown, but a Cory Joseph trey tied the score at 99. Following a Smart hoop, Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer to give the Kings a 102-101 lead with 39.8 seconds remaining.
Smart responded with his game-winning layup before coming up with a steal on Bogdanovic with 27.8 ticks left. Though Tatum missed a 3-point try with 8.2 seconds left, the Kings were unable to score on a late shot by Bogdanovic, sealing the result.
The Kings grabbed the largest lead of the first half, up 39-28, on a Barnes 3-pointer with 6:31 left in the second quarter. The Celtics stormed back with a 15-2 run, going up 43-41 on an Enes Kanter basket with 2:26 to go.
After a Hield trey halted the Boston run, the Celtics ended the half with a 10-2 stretch to lead 53-46 at the break.
Barnes led all scorers with 14 at intermission while Tatum, Kanter and Brown were all at 11 for the Celtics.
—Field Level Media