NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at Boston
(Friday, January 27th)
Final Score: Boston 84, Sacramento 74
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 points in his Boston debut, as the Celtics got the best of Ron Artest and the Sacramento Kings, 84-74, at TD Banknorth Garden.
On Thursday, the Celtics and Timberwolves pulled off a monumental trade with Szczerbiak heading to Boston and guard Ricky Davis going to Minnesota. The Celtics also acquired center Michael Olowokandi, center Dwayne Jones and a future first round draft choice, while sending the Timberwolves guard Marcus Banks, center Mark Blount, forward Justin Reed and two conditional second round draft choices.
Artest, acquired from Indiana for Peja Stojakovic on Wednesday, had 15 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes of action. Artest played in just 16 games for Indiana this season, averaging 19.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest before being placed permanently on the inactive list in early December.
Szczerbiak entered the game with 3:30 left in the second quarter and made 4- of-7 shots in 24 minutes.
"The best thing (Doc Rivers) did for me was start me in the second half because I got some shots in warm-ups and found my stroke a little bit," Szczerbiak said. "In the beginning, I was a little ramped-up and then was off and running. And my teammates made it easy."
Paul Pierce had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists to pace Boston to its fourth victory in six tries. Kendrick Perkins added 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Raef LaFrentz ended with 12 points and 10 boards, as the Celtics snapped a four-game skid against the Kings.
Brad Miller scored 22 points to pace Sacramento, losers in four of its last five contests. Kenny Thomas had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who lost for the 21st time in their last 26 trips to Boston.
The difference in the contest was mostly on the glass, as the Celtics outrebounded the Kings, 53-31.
Fans booed Artest nearly every time he touched the ball and the forward shot 5-of-14 from the floor.
"I was just ready, ready for anything," Artest said. "I was surprised (at early success). I didn't expect to hit my first three. But I felt good, even early in the day I felt good. I've got to do a little more adjusting to the game. It will come with more games played."
It's been a tumultuous season for Artest, who battled a wrist injury early on and then sealed his own fate after an interview with an Indianapolis newspaper during the weekend of December 10-11. It was then that he blasted the Pacer organization and requested a trade.
The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Artest made headlines last season when he charged into the crowd after fans after getting hit with debris during a game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace. Commissioner David Stern showed no mercy, as he suspended Artest for the final 73 games of the season.
"I didn't know what coach was going to do. He gave me a chance," Artest said of his first game since December 6 against Dallas. "I was just trying to do things to help the team win. We just fell a little short tonight."
The Kings were within 68-65 early in the fourth quarter following a free throw from Francisco Garcia. However, the Celtics pulled away for good by scoring the next nine points. LaFrentz drilled a three-pointer for a 73-65 advantage with 6:21 remaining and capped the burst with two free throws with 4:42 left.
The Kings held a 25-24 lead after the opening quarter and were in front 43-41 at the intermission. A 13-2 run in the third pushed the Celtics to a 65-55 lead. A Pierce jam ended the spurt.
Olowokandi didn't play...Miller went 11-of-13 from the foul line...Sacramento was 5-of-20 from three-point range, while Boston was 5-of-19.
01/28 00:01:14 ET