Friday, March 18, 2011

Rockets blow out Celtics, HOU 93 BOS 77

It was just less than a week ago that the famed Celtics defense added another page to the history books, holding the Milwaukee Bucks to a franchise record low 56 points. Tonight, however, the Celtics made some history they'd rather forget.

The Rockets had scored 62 points at halftime, the most points the Celtics have allowed in a half all season, as Houston's first half 50 percent shooting from both the field and behind the arch had them coasting to a 93-77 blowout win over the Celtics Friday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.

The Rockets sweep the season series with Boston, who've now lost their last four of six, including three-straight losses on the road.

Kevin Martin delivered a game high 25 points for Houston and missed only one free throw all night going 11/12 at the line. Kyle Lowry also had a big night for Houston, scoring 20 points and shot 4/4 from beyond the arch in the first half. The Rockets also got double doubles from Patrick Patterson (18 pts, 12 rebounds) and Chuck Hayes (11 points, 11 rebounds).

The Celtics were led by Big Baby's 16 points and Jeff Green's 17. Kevin Garnett had 11 points and Paul Pierce had 10 for the green. Ray Allen added eight points while Rondo's slump continued as he was 2-of-11 from the field with four points and six assists. The Celtics shot 42.4 percent on the night and couldn't hit anything from three-point range, going 1-of-10.

After giving up 108 points in a loss to the Rockets back in early January, defense was something that was stressed for Boston heading into tonight's contest. However, it wasn't something they could deliver as things started to get away from them in the first half, especially in the second quarter.
Behind three-pointers from both Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic, the Rockets started the second frame by building a 12 point lead. The Celtics were able to bring their deficit back down to eight but that was as close as they would get for the rest of the game. The Rockets closed the half out on a 13-3 and headed to half time with a 22 point lead, their largest lead of the game to that point. The 62 points they scored on Boston at the half was the most points the Celtics have allowed in the first two quarters by the Celtics all season.

The Rockets couldn't have played any better for the first half of play. Kevin Martin led all scorers with 19 points heading into halftime, making all 10 of his free throws. In fact, no Rocket missed a single free throw all half as Houston went 15/15 at the charity stripe.

It wasn't just at the free throw line that the Rockets couldn't miss in the first half. They shot 50% in the first half - both from the field and from three-point range. It was from behind the arch that Kyle Lowry shined for Houston in the first half, shooting 4-of-4.

The Celtics couldn't find a spark coming out of the halftime locker room. Patrick Patterson's eight third quarter points helped balloon the Rockets' 22-point lead from the first half to 29 -- Houston's largest lead of the night. The closest the C's had come was when they came out of the half outscoring Houston 8-4 to pull within 18.

In the fourth quarter, Glen Davis tried to help his team claw back into it, scoring eight points in the quarter and was the only Celtic to score for five straight minutes. Davis' efforts had the Celtics again climbing within 17 points, but it turned out to be too little too late.

Though the Celtics defense wasn't much better in the first quarter, they were atleast able to at least keep the game competitive. The Rockets had jumped out to a 8-1 lead early before the Celtics scored eight unanswered to take their first lead of the game off a Krstic dunk, 9-8, with 7:02 left in the opening frame. That turned out to be Boston's largest lead of the night. The game then was at a standstill for awhile, as the first quarter featured 11 lead changes. However, Lowry's nine points in the final minute sparked the Rockets to a 28-22 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Celtics loss has them fall to 48-19 as they lose out on an opportunity to catch up to the Chicago Bulls, who lost to the Pacers earlier tonight. The Celtics next face the Hornets tomorrow night in New Orleans at 8:00pm.

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