By Tristan Deschenes, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Boston Celtics nearly pulled off a miraculous overtime win, but came up just short against the Houston Rockets with a 111-110 loss in Boston. Houston seems to have Boston’s number, as they have now won 5 in a row against the C’s.
Boston controlled the first half, jumping out to a 56-45 halftime lead. The Celtics took advantage of the Rockets poor shooting, as Houston shot only 6-of-22 from three in the first half and scored a season low 45 first half points.
It looked like the Rockets had the game locked up in the fourth after Robert Covington (16 points) knocked down a three-pointer to give Houston a 99-95 lead with 2:35 left. Westbrook followed up the Covington three with an emphatic putback dunk to put Houston up five with 1:53 to go.
The Celtics would give themselves a chance though. With 24 seconds left Boston came up with a steal and dunk to get the lead down to 101-98.
Marcus Smart did what Marcus Smart does, he chucked up a prayer trey ball with eight seconds left to cut the lead to 102-101. After free throws from Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum was fouled with five seconds left. He missed the first free throw, so he was forced to miss the second on purpose. After a scramble for the ball, Jaylen Brown got it behind the three point line and knocked it down as time expired to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, the two teams went back and forth. At 2:50, Daniel Theis dunked it through to give Boston a one point lead. James Harden responded. With 24.3 seconds to go Harden got down hill and drew a foul. He knocked down both free throws to give Houston a 111-110 lead. Brown had a chance to win it but his fadeaway fell just short.
The Celtics were led by Tatum who extended his 30 point scoring streak to four games with 32 points. Smart added 26 while Brown chipped in with 22. All three struggled shooting the ball, Tatum shot only 9-of-27, Smart 9-of-22, and Brown 9-of-23.
Westbrook had another big night for the Rockets scoring 41 points. Boston did a decent job of containing James Harden, who was limited to 21 points on 7-of-24 shooting.
Kemba Walker missed his fifth straight game with knee soreness.
Up next for Boston is the Nets at home on Tuesday night.