The Celtics stopped the Rockets' 22 game win streak in impressive style. The first half was played fairly evenly and the teams were tied at 40 at halftime. But in the third quarter, the Celtics took over and outscored the Rockets 32-16 in the period. The final score was 94-74 and the Celtics are 2-0 so far in the Texas Triangle.
The game had a playoff feel to it right from the beginning. Before the play even got started, Rondo and Alston squared up against each other and were given technicals. Scola threw Tony to the floor on one drive and got a flagrant call on it. Tony made the 2 free throws and then went to the bench. Word was that he had a bruised back. Hopefully it isn't serious. It was a hard fought game throughout.
The player of the game was Leon Powe who came off the bench and scored 21 points and pulled down 4 rebounds in just 20 minutes. He didn't play last night and came in tonight and took over the game while he was on the floor. KG played like a man possessed finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Doc still had him in the game with 2 minutes left and he punctuated the win with 2 monster dunks at the end. Maybe he was just working off his frustration over being called a tanker. Pierce also had a huge game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Posey was big with 10 rebounds.
The Celtics shot 43% from the field while keeping the Rockets to 41%. The Celtics owned the boards with a 45-35 edge. They also took good care of the ball, only turning the ball over 11 times. They forced the Rockets into 16 turnovers. The officiating was fairly even with a few missed calls on both sides but didn't lean toward one team or the other as The Celtics shot 17 free throws to 18 for the Rockets. It was the Celtics defense that won the game as they held McGrady to only 8 points and just shut off every avenue to the basket in the second half.
The Celtics also scrambled for every loose ball and every rebound. Pierce and Baby both dove to the floor for a loose ball to force a jump ball. James Posey leaped into the stands trying to save the ball. The Celtics were definitely the more active team in the second half.
The Celtics now have a day off before closing out the Texas part of this trip in Dallas. The Mavs lost to the Lakers 102-100 tonight and will be looking to avenge their earlier loss in Boston. The Celtics are looking very confident and are playing very balanced ball as a team right now and are peaking at the right time. We should also have Ray Allen back for Thursday's game.