There were some remarkable individual performances in tonight's 94-87 win over the Houston Rockets, but this game was won with defense.
The Celtics held a Rockets team that averaged 116 points over the past three games to 87 points, 39% FG and 29% 3FG shooting.
Paul Pierce scored 15 of his 26 points in the 4th quarter. His back-to-back three pointers (around the 5 minute mark) killed the Rockets chances of a comeback.
Trailing 72-62 heading into the 4th, the Rockets clawed their way back and cut the lead to 5. But Pierce was not going back to the hotel with a loss. He took over the game by driving to the hoop, gathering offensive rebounds off his misses and scoring. He buried those back-breaking bombs. As Houston crept back into the game (cutting a 13 point lead to 5 with 45 seconds left), a Pierce lay-in off a nice pass from KG ended all hopes.
Ray Allen (19 points, 5-8 3FG) had his stroke in the first three quarters. He buried three 3s in the 3rd quarter and, along with Nate Robinson, fueled a 10-2 run to end the 3rd which gave the Cs back some breathing room.
Anyone who doesn't think Nate Robinson can play defense needs to watch the Rockets final possession in the 3rd quarter. Aaron Brooks was unable to get past him 1-on-1.
KG had a solid game – 15 points, 7-16 FG, 8 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 10 assists.
Mike Gorman made a great point about offensive balance. KG, Pierce and Ray were close in shot attempts. Rondo deserves credit for distributing the ball.