The Boston Celtics responded to their deflating loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night by defeating a tough Houston Rockets team, 120-109.
Both teams played terribly in the first quarter as the Celtics turned the ball over seven times while the Rockets gave it away 5 times. Both teams shot the ball poorly as well with Boston shooting 10-of-24 and Houston shooting even worse with an 8-of-22 mark. The Rockets were able to hold a narrow 27-24 advantage heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was extremely tough for the C’s as the referees were all over them. Boston was called for 12 fouls including 3 technicals in the final four minutes as their frustrations were evident. They were able to stay within striking distance, however, highly in part by Houston’s struggles from the free throw line. The Rockets were presented with 26 attempts from the line but only were able to convert on 17 of them. Houston still led 58-52 heading into the break but Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 17 points while James Harden led the Rockets with 12.
Boston’s impeccably efficient shooting in the third quarter helped them to create an 88-86 lead heading into the final frame. The Celtics made 13 of their 19 shots with Jae Crowder leading the way with 13 points in the quarter. Despite the entire game being a back and forth contest, Boston took over in the final frame thanks to the “King of the Fourth.” The C’s outscored Houston 32-23 in the quarter while Isaiah Thomas dropped 13 points on 5-of9 shooting to help ensure the Celtics’ 120-109 victory.
James Harden posted his usual stellar numbers with 30 points and 12 assists but his bad shooting night definitely didn’t help his team as he shot a poor 6-18 from the floor including 2-11 from three-point range. Isaiah Thomas ended the night with 38 points and 9 assists including his incredibly clutch fourth quarter play but Jae Crowder and Al Horford turned in some stellar performances as well. Horford posted 20 points to go along with 9 assists while Jae Crowder dropped a season-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Celtics came together as a team tonight to overcome adversity and defeat one of the Western Conference’s best teams. They showed toughness in an area that they usually don’t, as they outrebounded the Rockets 48-30 on their way to snapping a three-game losing streak. This is the Celtics team that Boston fans love to see, showing their potential to be one of the league’s best teams when playing their best brand of basketball. Boston will look to start a winning streak against the Orlando Magic on Friday night as they come to TD Garden to play the Celtics.