for this game

Celtics push win streak to nine, smash Kings

Jan 29, 2009 - 5:11 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics took a while to warm up on a wintry night in New England. But when they did, Eddie House and Rajon Rondo caught fire to burn the Sacramento Kings.

House put on a 3-point shooting clinic, making eight of nine, on his way to a season-high 28 points while Rondo added 24 and nine assists as the Celtics cruised to their ninth straight win, 119-100, over the Kings at TD Banknorth Garden.

"It just felt good that I contributed and helped the team and put us in the position we're at," House said. "I'm all about wins, not too much personally. I just love winning, I love the feeling of winning. Nothing beats it."

House has made 22 of his last 32 3-point attempts covering the last four games, taking the heat off captain Paul Pierce, who was just 1-of-5 Wednesday and held to eight points in 27 minutes.

"I've never been on a 3-point barrage like this, but Eddie's in a special place right now and I know how he feels," Pierce said. "It feels like every time he shoots the ball it's going to go in no matter who's on him, who he is playing against.

"I can tell the way he's shooting it that he feels that every shot is going to go in."

Another guard, Ray Allen, also did damage from the perimeter, scoring 12 and Kevin Garnett added 14 as the Celtics improved to 38-9. Glen Davis added 14 points as the Celtics' bench dominated with a season-best 61 points.

John Salmons scored 22 points and Jason Thompson chipped in with 21 for Sacramento (10-37), which lost its seventh straight.

The Kings, looking to make amends for a humiliating 45-point loss to Boston in Sacramento on December 28, came out on fire.

The visitors made their first six shots from the field and shot a blazing 65 percent, making 11-of-17 field goals in the opening 12 minutes.

Sacramento built a 23-13 lead but the Celtics, thanks to 10 points from Rondo, began their comeback.

Boston outscored the Kings, 15-7, to close out the first quarter and trailed, 30-28, going into the second.

House took over in the second, draining all four of his 3-point attempts and scoring 16 of his team's 40 points in the period as Boston outscored Sacramento, 40-19, to take a 68-49 halftime lead.

"It feels real good," House said. "My teammates are doing a real good job of finding me in rhythm and finding me when I'm open. Trying to get to open spots. I get a rebound and try to kick it to somebody and try to run to a spot."

Kevin Garnett opened his postgame press conference making a plea for House to be included in the 3-point shooting contest at the upcoming All-Star Weekend in Phoenix.

"Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are here to say that we think Eddie House needs to be in the 3-point contest," Garnett said.

Sacramento interim coach Kenny Natt had a different perspective on House's hot shooting.

"Eddie House had a phenomenal game and we lost him," Natt said. "Those are the types of things that happen when they get rolling on you like that, and we just got to be smarter to not leave guys like that. We made some strides and came back in the third quarter to bring it back to a respectable game, and I told my team that's what we need, we need effort every night, for 48 minutes not just 12 here and 12 there.

"The Celtics proved that they are a very good ballclub and give them credit, they came out and did what they were supposed to do. They played hard tonight, and we had obviously a bad second quarter things were going good in the first quarter and we had a really down quarter and gave up 40 points."

Rondo, House and Allen combined for 42 of Boston's 68 first-half points.

Thompson scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Kings drew to within 92-78 after three quarters.

Then, after being held scoreless in the third quarter without a shot, House got into another red-hot groove in the fourth. With fans chanting, "Eddie, Eddie", House made four of his five 3-point attempts to help salt the victory away for Boston.

"Never had a stretch like this," House said. "I've never had these many opportunities in four games. Like I said, my teammates are doing a great job of getting the ball to me so the credit is to my teammates."

House's eight threes on the night were a new career high.

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