Celtics look to avoid a letdown in Sacramento

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Celtics look to avoid a letdown in Sacramento

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

LOS ANGELES The Boston Celtics have a tough opponent ahead of them when they roll into Sacramento Tuesday night -- themselves.

Yeah, the Sacramento Kings will be there, too.

But when it comes to the Celtics, the team at the other end of the floor on most nights is irrelevant.

And even with the Kings (12-33) playing better -- they've won three of their last four games -- Tuesday night won't be any different.

Opponents with subpar records have been a challenge for Boston all season.

Boston has 11 losses, five of which have come against teams with a losing record.

It isn't so much that those teams play significantly better against the Celtics.

Instead, it has more to do with the C's simply not playing with the same level of commitment and focus at both ends of the floor that they display when playing the top teams in the NBA.

"We don't want to have a letdown," said point guard Rajon Rondo.

But it's difficult to avoid, especially when it comes at the end of a long road trip.

Tuesday's game will be Boston's fourth matchup in seven days.

That, combined with Sunday's 109-96 victory over the two-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, makes the Celtics a ripe candidate for a letdown performance against the Kings.

"We're going to try and go in Sacramento and try to finish off this road trip right," Rondo said.

To do that, the C's need to lock in mentally the way they did in the second half of Sunday's game.

"We had a focus against the Lakers and it's amazing that we played with that intensity," Doc Rivers said after his team's win. "We don't do that every night, unfortunately. As a coach, I would like that."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Well it appears that Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic wasn’t the only one who didn’t see Jaylen Brown’s powerful dunk over him coming. 
 
Apparently, Brown didn’t see it coming either. 
 
“It caught me off-guard,” Brown said after Boston’s 117-87 thumping of the Magic. “I wasn’t even expecting it. It happens. It’s part of basketball. It’s two points.”
 
The play in question came early in the second quarter when Brown blew past Jodie Meeks into the lane and took off towards the rim. 
 
Vucevic jumped late, got dunked on and the Celtics bench went bananas!
 
“It gave our team a lot of energy,” Brown acknowledged.
 
Brown understands part of his job in coming off the bench is to make an impact with effort. 
 
And in doing so, he senses that his teammate’s confidence him in and his game can only grow.
 
“I feel like my teammates are trusting me more, getting more trust from the coaching staff,” said Brown who finished with 13 points. 
 
Avery Bradley likes what he’s seen from Brown, a young player who has shown tremendous promise. 
 
And that dunk over Vucevic?
 
“You’re going to see a lot more of those in his career,” Bradley said. “He gets us going.”