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Reply To: NBA • Thursday Service Plays • 12/3/15

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Preview: Boston At Sacramento

When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

It’s Rajon Rondo reunion week for the Sacramento Kings, and the mercurial point guard will try to lead his new team to back-to-back wins over his former teams when the Kings and the Boston Celtics meet in Mexico City on Thursday. Rondo’s best game for the Dallas Mavericks came at Boston on Jan. 2, two weeks after he was traded.

The Celtics replaced Rondo with a combination of Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley at the point and the three have taken turns leading the team at both ends of the court. Bradley collected 25 points and three steals on Monday while Thomas added 16 points, nine assists and no turnovers while running the point for an injured Smart (leg). Rondo recently began looking like the player that made All-Star teams and was a nightly threat for a triple-double before injuries derailed his time in Boston, and his average of 10.7 assists leads the NBA. He went for 21 points and five assists and DeMarcus Cousins returned from a back ailment in a 112-98 win over the Mavericks on Monday.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), CSN California (Sacramento)

ABOUT THE CELTICS (10-8): Nine of Boston’s 10 victories have come by double figures, and Bradley and Thomas were able to keep that string alive in Monday’s 105-95 triumph. “He’s just been pretty consistent,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Bradley. “… He’s just at a good level. He hit huge shots when we needed them to kind of settle us down when things weren’t going our way, and that place got rocking a little bit.” Bradley is averaging 19.4 points in 10 games since returning from a calf injury.

ABOUT THE KINGS (7-12): Cousins sat out three straight games with the back strain and has missed eight of 19 games with various injuries this season. “They’re just nagging injuries,” Cousins told reporters. “They’re kind of just part of the game. It’s just bad timing, if anything. I’ve probably got to do a better job of maintenance on my body. I’m sure that will help.” The star center struggled with his shot (10-of-24) in his return on Monday but finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists.


1. The Celtics have taken three of the last five in the series.

2. Sacramento G Seth Curry is 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the last two contests.

3. Boston F Jae Crowder is averaging 14 points over the last three games.

PREDICTION: Celtics 109, Kings 97