Recap: The Celtics Can’t Top the Rockets


While there are many differences between Houston and Boston’s basketball teams, the glaring similarity between the two cannot be ignored; they both love to shoot the deep ball. Aside from this, the Rockets and Celtics alike entered the game winning 3 of their last 4 games, respectively – and that’s about it!

The two teams brought their respected offensive philosophies into Monday night’s match-up and proceeded to combine for a total of 70 attempts between them. In the end, Boston finished with a better long-range shooting percentage, yet suffered a nailbiting 107-106 loss.


An ugly start foreshadowed a slow beginning for the Celtics, as the game had remained knotted at 3 with just nine minutes left in the first quarter. Al Horford eventually willed his way to multiple rebounds in the same possession and a hard earned 2 points gave the C’s the brief lead.

Per usual, Rozier and Brown added some much needed energy to the stagnant Celtics offense by pushing the ball each time they managed a stop on D. The perfect example of this came in the 2nd when Al Horford had one of his beautiful blocks – Rozier promptly scooped it up and then dished to Brown for the easy 2 on the other end. The two young guns continue to prove they’re unafraid to take their shots this quarter, whether it be Rozier driving hard to the basket or Brown shooting a 3 without hesitation.

The Celtics managed to steal away the lead for a few fleeting minutes in the second, but Harden and the Rockets eventually shot their way back to gain the lead before half. The boys in Green had been so angry at the lack of calls at this point that IT received a T before walking into the locker room, down 58-48.

The malaise the Celtics found themselves in had been shaken off, for the most part, during the 3rd quarter. The defense propelled the offense to within 5, with IT being a main catalyst for the temporary comeback (and his body likely paying the price for it). A pair of 3’s from Jerebko and Horford pushed the Celtics past the Rockets 68-67. Jonas Jerebko continued to make the most of his hot start to the quarter by tipping seemingly every loose ball to a teammate, in addition to his efficient 3 point shooting on the night. Despite a defensive lapse at the end of the quarter, the C’s went into the final frame up 83-77.

Marcus Smart added to his clutch-factor rating when he answered with a layup after Decker brought the crowd alive with a 2 of his own. While the crowd continued to roar, Smart continued his onslaught by drilling a 3, and later emphatically rejected Montrezl Harrell as he attempted a dunk (video posted below). The Rockets refused to be demoralized, however, and poor passing combined with missed shots by the Celtics eventually led to yet another lead change- and this one Houston wouldn’t let up. A flagrant foul call against James Harden and a couple of missed layups by IT and Horford completed an ugly ending to an all around ugly game.


IT had a costly turnover near the half-court line with about 4 minutes left in the game while the Celtics were up 100-96. The Rockets then went on a 13-2 run and took control of the game for good.

Oh, and THIS missed layup..

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 The Grid

Al Horford – 21pts on 9/22 shooting 40.9% – 9 assists – 6 rebounds – 2 blocks – 1 steal
James Harden – 37pts on 8/14 shooting 57.1 – 8 rebounds – 8 assists – 3 steals

Final Score: Rockets 107 – Celtics 106

Box Score

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