BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics have been searching for the right lineup combinations since trading away Rajon Rondo earlier this month and they found an intriguing mix during Wednesday's 106-84 triumph over the Sacramento Kings.
Evan Turner produced the first double-digit assist game of his career while registering 10 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds as the starting point guard. Jameer Nelson added eight assists off the bench while helping rookie Marcus Smart direct the second-unit offense.
Boston generated a total of 32 assists on 44 field goals while shooting 46.8 percent overall.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting with 11 rebounds, but his night ended early when he was ejected for registering his second technical foul -- the last of which featured him throwing Smart to the ground in response to a hard box out by the Boston rookie -- in the fourth quarter.
• Let's get physical: One game after Sullinger suggested opponents think the Celtics are soft, Boston responded with some fight during Wednesday's game, all while dealing with the combustible Cousins. Tyler Zeller drew a flagrant-1 foul for striking Cousins in the head on a hard foul in the third quarter, then Smart earned a double technical for his part in the Cousins dust-up in the fourth (Smart got up quickly and got in Cousins' face in response to being thrown).
• Loose balls: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he wanted to stick with a 9- or 10-man rotation. Boston played 12 bodies overall (only Gerald Wallace was a healthy DNP), but leaned heaviest on a 10-man core with extended minutes for newcomers Nelson and Jae Crowder. ... Gino Time rolled during the final TV timeout.
• What it means: In a year full of struggles, the Celtics closed out 2014 with a bang. Boston improves to 11-18 overall; the Kings fall to 13-19. The Celtics welcome back old friend Rajon Rondo when the Dallas Mavericks visit TD Garden on Friday night.