Marquis Daniels and Ray Allen recorded team highs of 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Boston. Daniels shot 7-8 from the field, while Allen connected on 8-13 attempts. Rajon Rondo added nine points and 12 assists, while Glen Davis provided another mediocre effort, scoring only 12 points on 6-14 shooting, and grabbing a measly five boards.
Aaron Brooks tallied 24 points, drilling 5-8 three-pointers. Kyle Lowry added 17 points and eight assists, while Luis Scola and Jordan hill combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds.
The Celts and Rockets battled back and forth all 1st half, with Houston leading by five after the opening frame and one at the break, 50-49. Boston trailed by as many as nine points before cutting the deficit to a point, partially thanks to a buzzer beating runner by Rondo. Pierce and Daniels who each netted seven points, were two of the nine C's who reached the scoreboard in the first 24 minutes.
The Rockets re-extended their lead to a half a dozen in the 3rd quarter, netting 30 points on a sloppy Boston defense. Houston proceeded to make shot after shot in the final frame. In fact, after Courtney Lee missed a jumper just 35 seconds into the quarter, the Rockets didn't miss an unfouled attempt from the field until Brooks missed a jumper with 2:33 left in regulation.
After Allen connected on a trey to cut Boston's deficit to seven, Rondo pulled down a defensive rebound with just over a minute left and took off on the break. He sailed a cross-court pass between Allen and Pierce to wipe away Boston's last chances of coming back.
After getting another stop, Pierce did knock down a three. The C's dragged out the last 30 seconds like only an NBA team could, but never got closer than four.
With the loss, Boston falls to 28-9, while the Rockets improve to 17-21. The Celts return to the court Wednesday night, when sophomore sensation Tyreke Evans and the Kings come to Beantown for a 7:30 PM matchup. Stephen Bailey 1/10/2011 10:18:00 PM Tweet Edit