The Celtics let a 17 point deficit dwindle down to two but Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce refused to let this game slip through their fingers. KG dropped 11 of his 17 in the fourth and Paul Pierce landed a big lay-up plus the foul as the Captain would lead the team with 23 points, as the Celtics win their 5th straight, with a 103-91 victory.
The Green: The Bench. After a hot start to the first, the Celtics cooled off and it wasn’t looking so hot. The Rockets went off on a 13-0 run and to make matters worse both Paul Pierce & Avery Bradley were sent to the bench early after picking up two quick fouls. But the entire bench stepped up big time tonight. Jared Sullinger was great in the post and on the offensive glass as he got all 14 points in the first half, most of it on put backs as he was great on the boards, as you can see below, grabbing offensive boards with four Rockets around him.
It was also Courtney Lee with his shooting (4-of-6 in the first half) and his defense on James Harden, and Jeff Green (9 points) knocking down shots and bringing the thunder on a lovely spin & slam that helped bring the C’s back from a five-point deficit to a three-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Jason Terry even made an appearance with a big corner three and a JET landing all led to another 40 point effort from the bench tonight. This is what we were hoping for!
The Gross: Brandon Bass. He was pretty much non-existent tonight. The only bucket he had was a much-needed put back dunk, that triggered a big 15-3 counter punch to the Rockets’ fourth quarter frenzy. But other than that: a couple free throws, three rebounds, one assist, one block in 27 minutes. Avery Bradley also had a pretty rough go at it on the offensive side of things but he was trying to cover James Harden for most of the night and that’s a full-time job in itself.
- Paul Pierce passed Dominique Wilkins for 11th all time on the all-time NBA scoring list with one team. He’s being the Iceman George Gervin for 10th place.
- Thanks to Sully & KG, the Celtics outrebounded the Rockets, 43-38
- The Rockets had 1 more assist than the C’s (23-22)
- Speaking of assists, Rajon Rondo had himself a quiet 12 points & 8 assists game.
- The Rockets were cold from downtown (9-of-33) and the free throw line tonight (12-of-23)
This was a big test tonight as the Rockets weren’t going to give up and nearly took this from the Celtics. But hey it was a great win and this brings the Celtics to 19-17, good for the 8th seed in the East, win a very easy schedule ahead of them for the rest of the homestand. Things are looking good!