Celtics beat Kings 101-100 after Pritchard scores 21.

Boston— Payton Pritchard scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Sacramento Kings 101-100 on Friday night. Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points and 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double to help the NBA's top team win its 12th straight home game one game after claiming playoff home-court advantage. Last 15 wins: 13.  

The Kings' De'Aaron Fox scored 40 points and made a 26-footer with 27 seconds left. After Celtics reserve Xavier Tillman put Boston back in front, Fox missed one of three potential game-winning attempts for the Kings in the final 7 seconds, saving the Celtics. Boston coach Joe Mazzulla rested his starters in the fourth quarter and left his reserves on the floor.  

Those moments are good for our team chemistry,” Porzingis added. “Seeing Joe hyped up on the sidelines. It was neat. We won well.” The Kings have lost four of their last six and are trying to escape the play-in tournament. Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 16 rebounds.  

Fox was great, especially with 40 down the stretch. As expected, he rose. Gave us a chance to win,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “We just shot poorly.” Sacramento shot 38% (38 for 99) and 33% (17 for 51) from 3-point range. They squandered a chance to advance in the close Western Conference, Sabonis said. “We let one slide,” Sabonis remarked. “We had a chance to steal a game from them but failed. Five games remain, then Brooklyn. Business must be handled.”  

Fox's driving layup pulled the Kings' 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to 99-97. After Colby Jones blocked Pritchard's shot on Boston's next possession, Fox's 3-pointer gave Sacramento its first lead since the first quarter.  

Keegan Murray stopped Sam Hauser's short jumper on the Celtics' next possession. Tillman caught it and scored to put Boston ahead for good. Kings cut a 16-point first-half deficit to 54-50 by halftime, but Celtics outscored them 30-22 in the third to take a 12-point lead into the fourth.  

At least five minutes into the contest, neither team scored. Boston started 1 for 10 and Sacramento 1 for 8. Celtics shot 9/10 in the first quarter after finding their groove. Kings went 5-21.

Boston led by double digits in the second quarter, but it needed all of the basket. On one possession, Payton Pritchard threw a 28-footer from outside the key. The ball bounced high off the rear of the rim, clipped the front lip, and rolled off the glass before landing in. Boston started without Jaylen Brown and Derrick White.

Brown sat with a sprained left hand and missed Monday's win over Charlotte. Brown said it was a ligament issue and bothered him during Wednesday's win over Oklahoma City. Friday's absence was about controlling the condition, and coach Joe Mazzulla didn't expect Brown to miss the rest of the season. A bruised lower back sidelined White, who has started 70 of Boston's 77 games.  

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