Al Horford was outstanding throughout this game. Al Horford played very well on both ends of the court in this game. Horford had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks. The Celtics first unit came out on fire in the first quarter and built up a 13 point lead. However the second unit didn’t play well in their first stint on the court. The Kings were able to tie the game before the first quarter ended. The game was a back and forth affair from that point on.

The Celtics played better on the defensive end from the last possession of the third through the final buzzer. Ultimately a few timely forced turnovers really helped change the complexion of the game. The Celtics bench unit played better at the end of the game than they did in the beginning. Here are the keys to the win.

Horford handling the ball versus the Kings Photo from Celtics official twitter account

Al Horford Was Outstanding

Al Horford played very well on both ends and was just absolutely huge in this game.

He provided secondary scoring, he set great screens, he moved the ball on offense. He was fantastic on the Celtic’s offensive end.

Horford blocks, Crowder saves, Rozier dishes and Jerebko swishes?

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 3, 2016

Al Horford also had 6 blocks in this game. His defense on Cousins was a huge part of the win. He also was a big presence in the paint. His 6 blocks included a couple of game-saving plays in the 4th period.

Stevens on Al’s blks: I thought there were a couple of HUGE plays he made blocking shots…He’s always in a stance, his arms are always long

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 3, 2016

Isaiah Thomas didn’t have his best shooting night. And while he still finished with 20 points, Horford was The Man tonight.

Defense!

Well the Celtics actually played very well defensively tonight. Especially in the 4th quarter. The Celtics ran off to a big lead early, because of their defense. While they ended up giving up a 15-0 run, they got back to it on the defensive end. Give credit to the Kings for hanging in their, and making this a defensive struggle. The Kings stayed with the Celtics and both teams shot pretty poorly from the field.

The Celtics shot only 40% from the field in this game. They won mainly because they forced 15 turnovers and held the Kings to 37% from the field.

Avery Bradley, Terry Rozier, and Jae Crowder all played well on the defensive end in the second half.

Ball Movement

The Celtics really moved the ball throughout the game.

The Kings did a great job of pressuring the ball, and playing in passing lanes. The Kings often played ball-denial defense. However, the Celtics overcame it. The guys in green finished with 25 assists on 36 made baskets. The Celtics had 5 different players with 3 or more assists. (And 7 players with 2 or more. )

The Celtics Play the 76ers Next

The Celtics will play in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center tomorrow at 7:30 PM. They’ll face another talented big man in Joel Embiid.