The Celtics come back 17 points with triple-double Kyrie Irving

He is the second in the race and the first in five years of the base. The Kings say goodbye to their already scarce playoff options in the West.

That the Celtics are better than a few weeks ago is a fact that is demonstrated by their regained ability to win imperfect matches, to sign comebacks that were previously the mark of the house Stevens and that this season, so ugly in its first two thirds, seemed thing of the past. Against the Kings (126-120) they raised 17 points and continued in double digits of disadvantage towards the end of the third quarter, when they consummated the rollover on the basis of triples. At 42-27, they are still one and a half games behind the Sixers and two of the Pacers. Fifth Eastern, right now without first-round field advantage, visit Philadelphia next week. One of the most important duels of what remains of regular season.

For the Kings, on the other hand, the important matches are running out and they will continue to be the team, after the feat of the Wolves 2017-18, without more seasons in the playoffs : the last time, in 2006. Now in 33-34 (they were 30-26), they have lost eight of their last ten games and 13 of their last 17 outings. And they are five and eighth place with only 15 to play. That is to say, they depend on a miracle in spite of their excellent first half of the season, of an optimal year in terms of injuries, of the arrival of Harrison Barnes in February and of what has been lowering the price of the last positions of West playoffs. Finally, a certain flavor to disappointment in a season, in any case, in which the first hopeful cooking in a long time has been seen in Sacramento. Quite simply, it has not been enough.

The Celtics ended up being better and the second triple-double (31 + 10 + 12) of Kyrie Irving throughout his career and the first in more than five years (since February 2014). Horford's intendancy, Morris's solidity (21 + 13) and a good match by Tatum and Brown (37 points between the two with good percentages) showed a very good version of the Celtics in the decisive minutes and after a horrible start They put the game totally uphill. In the Kings Fox he went to 19 + 7 + 9 and Hield to 34 + 4 + 7 with 20 Barnes points and 14 + 6, with very good minutes in the first part, of a Bagley returning after his knee injury. But it was not enough to win at the Garden and take a last look at the playoffs that again, irremediably move away from Sacramento.

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