1 Total Update since March 18, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Celtics squandered any goodwill engendered by Wednesday night's impressive win over Indiana with one of their worst efforts of the season on Friday night in Houston.
The Rockets obliterated Boston, hammering the C's in every facet of the game to the tune of a 93-77 final score. The Celtics, who made this one look far closer than it actually was in extended garbage time, led by one halfway through the first quarter before being blown out by the streaking Rockets, who led by as many as 29 in the third quarter.
Houston's starting guard combo of Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin dominated the Celts back court, posting 45 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. By comparison, the Celtics entire starting lineup scored 38 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and had 13 assists.
The Rockets, who have now won three straight, put this one out of reach in the second quarter, outscoring the C's 34-18 and staying two steps ahead of the Celts defense, which was never a factor. Houston shot over 50 percent for the first three quarters before dipping a bit in the later stages.
Chuck Hayes, who stands just 6'6", and rookie forward Patrick Paterson ruled the paint. Hayes had 11 points and 11 rebounds as well as a handful of hustle plays that exemplified the Rockets effort level being well above the Celtics all night. And Paterson threw in 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Jeff Green dropped in 17 points and Glen Davis added 16 to go with seven rebounds for the Celtics, who were weak on offense. They shot 41 percent from the floor, making just one of 10 three-point attempts. Their 77 total points was a season low for against the Rockets. Paul Pierce was 2-of-10 from the floor while Rajon Rondo finished only 2-of-11.
The Celtics have now lost four of their last six games and missed a chance to retake the first overall spot in the Eastern Conference with the loss. They will have to forget this one fast, with the second game of a back-to-back set scheduled for Saturday night in New Orleans against the Hornets.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Celtics biggest issues over the past several weeks has been their health and subsequent depth. Both seem to be improving rapidly. First, Glen Davis returned from a knee injury last weekend and then, Delonte West came back from an ankle problem on Wednesday night against Indiana. Now, it appears Shaquille O'Neal may well be the next injured Celtic to retake the floor.
O'Neal, sidelined since Feb. 4, with an Achilled injury, will accompany the C's on their three-game road trip that begins on Friday night in Houston for a game with the Rockets at 8:30 p.m. EDT, on Comcast Sports Net New England. O'Neal will not play against the Rockets, but he will practice with the Celts in the hopes of getting on the floor either Saturday night in New Orleans or Monday against the Knicks in New York.
"I'll be back even if I have to shoot it up," Shaq told the Boston Globe. "It's getting real close. I'm going to practice here in the next couple days and see if I can get back."
With Davis, West and Jeff Green leading the Celts reserves in Wednesday's 92-80 win over the Pacers, the bench scoring was 39-24 in favor of Boston. Green put up 19 points in 26 minutes and Paul Pierce broke out of a mini slump in that one, scoring 20 points in 27 minutes. It was just the second time in six games that the C's broke the 90-point threshold. The Celts (48-18), who sit one half game out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference, will be looking to avenge a 108-102 loss to the Rockets at TD Garden on Jan. 10. The road team has won the last six games between these two teams.
Two of Houston's starters that night, guard Aaron Brooks and forward Shane Battier, have since been traded, while big man Luis Scola, the Rockets leading rebounder and second leading scorer, has missed their last four games with a left knee injury and will remain out indefinitely. Houston (35-34) is led by guard Kevin Martin and his 22.3 points per game. The Rockets are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture, two games behind eighth place Memphis.