After getting back into the win column Saturday night vs the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets were now trying for their second win in a row as they faced the Boston Celtics tonight.
In the 1st quarter, the Rockets were once again off to a slow start as Avery Bradley led the charge for the Celtics. The Rockets just simply could not get the ball into the basket, and the misses led to the Celtics getting easy fastbreak points. As a lot of people have mentioned before, the Rockets transition defense continues to struggle but tonight, the 1st quarter was the only “bad” quarter of the night. At the end of the quarter, the Celtics led 27-19.
As the second quarter and third quarter rolled along, the Rockets finally found some life. As in most cases, the Rockets start out sluggish, but then heat up as the game moves along. In the 2nd quarter, everything went Houston’s way. Dwight Howard went barging his way to the hoop, and the rest of the team started to knock down open 3′s, finally putting the Rockets into a nice rhythm. Tonight, it was about Dwight Howard. When you look at the Celtics roster, nobody could stop Dwight. The Rockets are now starting to realize that when they can get the ball to Dwight, he can then dominate.
Heading to the 4th quarter, the Rockets had a significant lead, 84-65, however, in usual Rockets fashion, the final period made things a bit more interesting. Jerryd Bayless started putting on a show and mounting a comeback. With the Celtics taking advantage of costly turnovers and fast break opportunities, the Rockets could only hope to not blow another lead.
The Rockets bench couldn’t seal the deal early, and Coach Kevin McHale went back to his stars. When you hear the term “4th quarter”, and the name “Dwight Howard”, that usually creates a feeling. Down the stretch, the Celtics did indeed employ the “Hack-A-Howard” strategy. The Celtics tried every possible method to get themselves back into the game but with Dwight hitting 1 out of 2 free throws every time, the Rockets kept on building a steady lead. Eventually, the Celtics could not “Hack-A-Howard” anymore, and by then, the game was basically out of hand. Although the Celtics won the 4th quarter, 27-20, the Houston Rockets won the game, 104-92.
The Rockets now head to New Orleans to finish off their four-game road trip. Wednesday night’s game is scheduled for 7:00 PM and can be seen on CSN Houston.