Celtics’ 10-game win streak snapped in as close a loss as possible

The NBA’s longest win streak is officially no more, with the Boston Celtics losing 100-99 to the Sacramento Kings. All the Celtics needed to keep it going was a slight breeze at the buzzer.

In the final possession of the game, Celtics guard Marcus Smart got the ball at the top of the arc and drove toward the basket. As he was met in the paint by multiple Kings defenders, he threw up a floater that looked on target.

The ball clanked off the front of the rim. Then it hit the backboard. Then it bounced off the front of the rim again. Then it just stood there, the outcome of the game depending on which direction it rolled off the narrow metal.

It went the Kings’ way.

It wasn’t even the most ludicrous end involving a ball bouncing multiple times on the rim in 2019, but that’s still a heartbreaking loss for the Celtics.That outcome snapped the 10-game win streak for the Celtics, but there is still plenty to like about how the team is looking in the early stages of the season.

Since a season-opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the 12-2 Celtics had been undefeated with wins over the likes of the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks.

Led by a trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the newly acquired Kemba Walker that has combined for 63.6 points per game, the team has looked like a new squad compared to last year’s disappointment. The Celtics will have to proceed without the help of a resurgent Gordon Hayward for six weeks, though.

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart reacts after missing a shot at the buzzer in his team's loss to the Sacramento Kings in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Marcus Smart couldn’t believe the shot didn’t go in. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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