Celtics 97, Rockets 92: Paul Pierce, Ray Allen Lead Boston To OT Win

Paul Pierce scored a game-high 30 points and Ray Allen poured in 21 after a scoreless first quarter as the Boston Celtics survived against the Houston Rockets, winning 97-92 in overtime on Tuesday at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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Kevin Garnett Moves Into 12th Place On All-Time Rebounding List

BOSTON - Kevin Garnett's under the radar season has continued, as the Boston Celtics' veteran intimidator has quietly been putting together one of his most effective seasons in the last three years. Garnett, who had 13 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 97-92 overtime win over the Houston Rockets, added another honor to his productive season as he moved into 12th place on the NBA's all-time rebounding list.

"I think when you're old, you have a milestone every night," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers joked about Garnett, who now has an even 13,100 rebounds in his career. "I'm starting to realize that because I just gave Kevin two basketballs with paint on it, so now we have to give him another one. You have to be healthy, you have to be good for a long time."

Garnett passed former Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal, who celebrated his 40th birthday Tuesday, on the rebounding list, as Shaq finished his career with 13,099 boards. Garnett has averaged 19.4 points and 10.7 rebounds in his storied career.

For more Celtics and Rockets coverage, visit CelticsBlog and The Dream Shake.


Celtics 97, Rockets 92 (OT): Paul Pierce, Ray Allen Ground Rockets

BOSTON - Comfort zones were nowhere to be found for the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets in their battle at TD Garden on Tuesday night, but the C's found some extra energy and survived a close game in overtime, 97-92, to capture their fourth straight win.

"It was definitely a strange game," said Celtics captain Paul Pierce, who reached double digits in scoring for the 10th straight game, finishing with a team-high 30 points and six rebounds. "It was about our wills. One team wanted it one quarter, another team wanted it [another]. It was kind of like a seesaw battle. We make a run, they make a run, we make a run, they make a run. Nobody could really just put the other team away."

Ray Allen poured in 21 points and Rajon Rondo came just short of another double-double, contributing nine points, 12 assists and three rebounds. Kevin Garnett had 13 points and 13 boards, which moved him into 12th all-time on the NBA's rebounding list (Garnett now has 13,100 career rebounds). Greg Stiemsma scored eight off the bench for Boston.

"That was a crazy game. It really was," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "The whole game - it wasn't even just the ending. I mean there was just some strange things going on tonight. We give up 28 points in the first quarter, hold them to 12 in the second. We give up 28 points in the third quarter, hold them to 16 in the fourth."

Luis Scola scored 18 and had 14 rebounds and Kyle Lowry added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as Houston shot 38.6 percent. Kevin Martin, the Rockets' leading scorer entering the game, had 11 points and Goran Dragic added 11 points. Samuel Dalembert, who fouled out in the final minute of OT, had 11 points and 17 boards.

The Celtics fell behind by seven after one quarter, 28-21, as the Rockets shot a sizzling 63 percent in the game's opening quarter compared to Boston's 40 percent shooting. That deficit would be erased in the second, though, as Boston outscored the opposition 25-12 on 57.9 percent shooting. Allen, who was scoreless in the first, had seven points to help the C's build their lead to six, 46-40, heading into halftime.

Boston couldn't sustain the tempo in the third quarter and was clearly content with its lead, letting the Rockets back into the game and allowing them to grab a 68-63 lead heading into the fourth. The Celtics' valiant effort, led by a surge from Allen, gave them an 84-82 lead with 35 seconds remaining.

After a missed floater by Scola, Pierce grabbed the rebound and fired the ball to a wide open Rondo with less than 18 seconds left, but Rondo lost the handle and missed the layup. Dragic made the C's pay for their mistake, making a long two from the corner to tie the game at 84. Allen missed a leaner as time expired, resulting in overtime.

Garnett's jumper and a three-point play from Paul Pierce put the Celtics up 91-86 with nearly three and a half minutes remaining, but Houston scored our straight to make it a one-point game once again. Lowry scored four straight in between two free throws from Pierce to make it a 93-92 game. Pierce's layup at 1:15 and two free throws from Allen gave Boston all the room it needed to capture the win.

"It was a no-energy game," Rivers said. "You can feel it. I even said at halftime, 'Even the building had no energy.' It's just one of those nights."

Boston won't have any time to rest, as the Celts face the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday night.

FINAL 1 2 3 4 OT 1 Total
Houston Rockets 28 12 28 16 8 92
Boston Celtics 21 25 17 21 13 97

Complete Coverage >

For more Celtics and Rockets coverage, visit CelticsBlog and The Dream Shake.


Celtics Vs. Rockets Halftime Score: Boston Leads 46-40 At Break

BOSTON - Ray Allen's second-quarter spurt helped give the Boston Celtics a little breathing room against the Houston Rockets at the end of the first half, and the C's took a 46-40 lead into halftime on Tuesday evening at TD Garden.

Allen, who was scoreless in the first quarter, had seven points in the quarter, including a corner three from Rajon Rondo (nine points, five assists, three rebounds) that gave Boston a 40-35 lead late in the quarter. Paul Pierce came alive at the end of the half after starting of 3-for-8 with six points, adding four points to bring his total up to 10. Luis Scola led all scorers with 12 points, but scored just one point in the second quarter. Chandler Parsons had eight first-quarter points and was held to two in the second for Houston.

The Rockets led 28-21 after twelve minutes, thanks to a red-hot start from the field in which they shot 63 percent. Boston, meanwhile, struggled out of the gate, missing their first three shots.

For more Celtics and Rockets coverage, visit CelticsBlog and The Dream Shake.


Celtics Vs. Rockets: All Systems Go For Boston On Tuesday Night

BOSTON - Houston, we have no problems. Doc Rivers told the media that he had no medical updates for us before Tuesday night's game between his Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets, which is the only meeting of the season between the two squads.

Of course, the Celtics will still be without center Jermaine O'Neal yet again, so they aren't at full health. Rivers said that he is prepared for the rest of this season with the team he has now, with a healthy O'Neal or not. However, they are miles better than they were several weeks ago when they were down a handful of starters and reserves. Brandon Bass, who missed some time due to a knee injury, is back in action and has started all three games after the All-Star break.

Kevin McHale was the main focus of media attention, for good reason McHale, now the coach of the Houston Rockets, played 13 seasons in Boston and won three championships. He had some good quotes for reporters, which can be heard by clicking the audio link below, as can Rivers' pregame press conference.

AUDIO: Doc Rivers Pregame Press Conference (3-6-12)

AUDIO: Kevin McHale Pregame Press Conference (3-6-12)

For more Celtics and Rockets coverage, visit CelticsBlog and The Dream Shake.


Celtics Vs. Rockets: Kevin McHale Returns To Boston With Houston

Kevin McHale returns to Boston, this time as a head coach, as his Houston Rockets (21-17) take on his former team, the Boston Celtics (19-17), at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: CSN/WEEI).

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