It took longer than expected, but the Houston Rockets walked out of TD Garden with a win on Saturday night.
The Rockets survived a buzzer-beater and a late overtime push on to beat the Celtics 111-110, their sixth-straight.
Celtics expectation vs. reality pic.twitter.com/FZa5b8exGw— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 1, 2020
“The measurement of a man is where you stand in adversity, man,” said Houston star Russell Westbrook, who dropped 41 points in the win. “I thought we did a good job as a unit coming out and competing, and closing the last five minutes out.”
Jaylen Brown sends it into OT
Celtics star Jason Tatum stepped up to the free-throw line with just 5.1 seconds left on the clock in regulation. With Boston down three points, however, one free throw wouldn’t do them any good.
So he threw it off the front of the rim, sparking a scramble for the ball.
Eventually, it got pushed back out to the center of the floor where Jaylen Brown was waiting. Instantly, he grabbed the ball and rose up, expertly sinking the 3-pointer before time expired to send the game into overtime — launching a huge celebration at TD Garden.
That shot, however, wasn’t enough.
The Rockets held on in the extra period, holding Boston scoreless in the final 2:49 in overtime to grab the one-point win.
Westbrook led the Rockets with 41 points and eight rebounds after shooting 16-of-27 from the field. James Harden added 21 points, and Robert Covington finished with a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Smart finished with 26 points, and Brown added 22. Boston led by 17 points at one point in the first half, too, but saw their lead disappear quickly after halftime after a 13-0 Houston run. The loss marked the Celtics’ second in their past five games since the All-Star break, the only other being a two-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“They were better than us tonight,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, via MassLive. “Not by much, but at least by one.”
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