The Celtics used a massive third quarter run to get by the Houston Rockets Monday night, picking up a 108-90 win at TD Garden. With the win – their third straight and fourth in the last five games – the Celtics improve to 10-8 on the season
It was another big game for Jayson Tatum, who eclipsed the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game. Tatum was also a season-high plus-23 for the game, his 10th positive plus/minus in the last 11 games.
Tatum scored the Celtics’ first eight points, but the Rockets stuck around going punch-for-punch. After one quarter, Boston led 22-21.
Stumbling early in the second quarter, the Celtics found themselves down by six. They responded with a 16-2 run midway through the frame, regaining control. Again, it was Tatum leading the way – he had a game-high 22 points in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting. By halftime, Tatum and the Celtics had stretched the lead out to 52-47.
Jayson Tatum is too filthy 😳 pic.twitter.com/uDzuydg55c— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 23, 2021
Things continued to click for the Celtics out of the break, as they went on a 20-3 run to begin the third quarter. Jaylen Brown scored 12 points during that run, including 10 straight to force a Houston timeout midway through the third. By the time the quarter came to an end, the Celtics led 86-63, outscoring the rockets 34-16 in the frame.
With that comfortable lead, Ime Udoka was was able to go deep into his bench and rest some of the Celtics’ starters with the team in the midst of a three week stretch of 19 days without consecutive days off. The team used 14 players, with Jabari Parker the only DNP.
Tatum led all scorers with 30 points, shooting 10-of-22 from the floor. He also attempted a season-high nine free throws, and hit all nine.
Playing for the first time since Nov. 4 due to a hamstring injury, Brown scored 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 from behind the three-point line. Dennis Schroder added 18 points, with Al Horford contributing an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double. Robert Williams was one rebound shy of tying his season high – he finished with 15 boards.
The Celtics return to the court Wednesday night for their first matchup of the year with the Brooklyn Nets. It was the Nets that knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs in five games in the first round last season. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. on 105.7 WROR and the Celtics Radio Network.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.