The Boston Celtics found their way back into the win column with a blowout victory over the Houston Rockets by a score of 134-107. The Celtics led for the majority of the game, and handed the Rockets their 16th straight loss. Per usual, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way for the C’s with 24 and 23 points respectively, as the Celtics took control of the game early on and cruised to a suspense free victory.
The Celtics started out pretty slow in this one, as they fell behind 21-14 pretty early on in the first. But once the Celtics heated up, it was game over for the Rockets. They would take a 38-34 lead over the Rockets by the end of the first, and they never looked back. They would extend that lead all the way out to 13 by halftime, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with 21 points at the half. The Celtics also got a big contribution from their bench, as they outscored the Rockets bench 25-4 in the first half alone.
The one sour spot of the first half was Kemba Walker, as he missed all his shots from the field, and only picked up 2 points off free throws. That changed quickly in the third quarter, as Walker came out and scored 11 straight points for the Celtics to open the quarter, essentially putting the game to bed in the process. The Celtics would go on and double the Rockets 19 points in the quarter to put up 38 of their own, as they cruised through the fourth on their way to a nice victory.
Realistically, the Rockets weren’t really expected to be much of a challenge for the Celtics, but it’s still nice to pick up an easy win every once in awhile. Nobody had to play over 30 minutes, which means the starters can get some extra rest, and the bench could get some valuable minutes. This win also puts the Celtics back to two games over .500, which is big considering their next game is against the league leading Utah Jazz.
Speaking of the bench, they contributed in a big way tonight. Semi Ojeleye hit his first three 3-pointers to help the Celtics find their footing early on. Rob Williams continued his recent streak of fantastic play, as he hit all seven of his shots to drop 16 points, and snagged 13 rebounds to go along with it. He continues to makes his case for a starting spot, and he may soon earn it if he keeps up his performance. Payton Pritchard didn’t get much time when the game was close, but he came on and dominated in the fourth quarter, as he just continues to impress in his rookie season.
So after a blowout victory, the Celtics level of competition will face a steep increase when they take on the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. The Jazz have cooled off recently, but still stand at the top of the standings, and for good reason. They’ve been playing some of the best team basketball the game has seen recently, and they’ve taken the league by storm this season. The Celtics can’t get off to a slow start in this one, of they could find themselves back in the loss column by the end of Tuesday night.
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