The Houston Rockets came out of the halftime break facing an 11 point deficit to the Boston Celtics. After a subpar first half, the Rockets outscored the Celtics 36-22 in the third quarter to take their first lead of the night heading into the final period.
Despite a made 3-point field goal at the end of regulation by Jaylen Brown, Houston went on to score seven points in overtime en route to a 111-110 victory over the Celtics, Saturday night, inside TD Garden in Boston. With the win, the Rockets (39-20) extended their winning streak to six, and recorded their fifth straight victory over the Celtics (41-18) dating back to March of 2018.
While recording his fourth 40-point performance of the season, Russell Westbrook led the way with a game-high 41 points (16-27 FG, 1-2 3PT), eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 43 minutes.
The Rockets trailed by 17 points early in the second quarter after a slow start on both ends of the court. While recording four air-balls from 3-point range (two coming from Eric Gordon), Houston’s defense allowed the Celtics to score 16 of their 28 first-quarter points from inside the paint.
With the Rockets recording their fewest first-half points of the season, the Celtics shot 47.7% from the field to take a 56-45 lead into halftime.
Although he sealed the deal at the line with two made free throws, it was a quiet night for James Harden in Beantown. He recorded 21 points to go along with eight assists in the win, but struggled with his shot connecting on four of his 17 attempts from behind the arc.
With Harden a near non-factor, Robert Covington picked up the slack with a double-double of 16 points (6-12 FG), 16 rebounds and three blocks for the Rockets — who have now won 10 of their previous 12 games.
After staging a comeback of their own, Houston kept the Celtics at arm’s reach until the final seconds of the game. Four of Boston’s starters scored in double-figures, as Tatum led the way with 32 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in the loss.
While replacing the injured Kemba Walker who missed his fifth straight game (knee), Marcus Smart registered 26 points and seven assists on the night.
Following the one-point victory, the Rockets will travel to the Big Apple to take on the 18-42 New York Knicks on Monday, inside Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is at 6 P.M. CT.