The Boston Celtics hadn’t won a road game since February 5th against the LA Clippers. Turns out all that was needed to end that seven-game losing streak was a matchup with a struggling Houston Rockets team losers of 15 straight coming in. Boston took care of business to end its streak and prolong Houston’s with a 134-107 victory.
Boston withstood five first-quarter turnovers, 21 points from Houston’s backcourt duo of Kevin Porter Jr. and Victor Oladipo and a deficit as high as eight to end the frame up by four. The catalyst? Three members of the second-unit combined to contribute 17 of the team’s 38 points. Jayson Tatum led the way with 12 points of his own.
The Celtics are one of the best second-quarter teams in the league and showed why against the Rockets. A four-point lead expanded to 13 by the time halftime rolled around thanks to a 28-19 edge.
After a quiet first 12 minutes that included five points on two shots, Jaylen Brown owned the second quarter with 16 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting effort.
The second half was rather uneventful for all the right reasons. Boston’s lead ballooned to 32 by the third-quarter buzzer thanks to a Tatum buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Robert Williams III and Tristan Thompson didn’t even need the final quarter to each amass double-digit rebounds. Walker poured in 11 points early in the second half to further separate the Celtics from their opponent.
The entire fourth quarter constituted garbage time, with Carsen Edward and Tacko Fall filling in the minutes until the final buzzer.
Brown and Tatum combined for 47 as the Celtics as a whole shot 54.9 percent from the field while knocking down 18 threes en route to their highest point total of the season. But the true standout of this game was Williams, who came off the bench to finish with 16 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting with 13 rebounds and three blocks in just 19 minutes.
Houston’s offense sputtered by shooting under 40 percent. Oladipo finished with a game-high 26 but shot 9-of-23. Kenyon Martin Jr. put in a surprising 21 off the bench.
While the Rockets stew in the wake of a 16th straight defeat, the Celtics will head home to prepare for a Tuesday-nigh nationally-televised contest against the league-best Utah Jazz.