Saturday, December 15, 2012
Now Is Hardly The Time To Worry About A Silly NBA Game
Boston (12-10, 4-6 away) opened its tough three-game road trip (Houston, San Antonio and Chicago) with a 101-89 loss to Houston (11-11, 9-5 home) at the Toyota Center. The Celtics actually led 45-43 at halftime but the Rockets bombarded them in the third quarter (32-25) and fourth quarter (26-19) for the win in front of far from a sellout crowd.
James Harden had a game-high 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals while something named Greg Smith put up 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks off the bench for Houston. Chandler Parsons (15 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) almost notched a triple-double and former Knick Toney Douglas scored 11 off the bench. Omer Asik (10 rebounds) and Carlos Delfino each scored nine points in the victory.
Nothing came easy for Boston which is what happens when you shoot a cool 40.0% as a team. Paul Pierce led the Celts with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 13 assists, four steals and a season-high seven turnovers, Kevin Garnett added 14 points and five assists while Jason Terry scored 12 off the bench. Jeff Green (9 points, 7 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger (7 points, 6 rebounds) also had their moments as substitutes.
The C's had eight more steals (15-7) but the Rockets shot much better (48.7%) from the floor, with two more 3-pointers (10-8), four more free throws made (17-13), four more rebounds (45-41) and three more blocks (8-5).
Both teams had played on Wednesday but Boston went two overtimes with Dallas then had to travel to the Lonestar State while Houston chilled at home after beating Washington. That doesn't excuse the big discrepancy for fast break points (25-11) and points in the paint (40-32) that favored the Rockets. Their young legs looked fresh while Boston's old bodies didn't seem to have any energy once Houston took control in the second half.
Things only get harder from here as the Celtics go to face the Spurs (18-6, 1st Southwest Division) at the AT&T Center tomorrow night (8:30 p.m., CSN). San Antonio has lost two in a row-which is big news for them-so they'll be fired up or turned up as the kids say these days. This is the second of two meetings between the teams this season, the Spurs won 112-100 at TD Garden the night before Thanksgiving.