National Basketball Association
Houston 111, Boston 110
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, February 29, 2020
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
#37 Eric Dalen, #45 Brian Forte, #16 David Guthrie
Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 41 points, and James Harden found redemption from a poor shooting night with two free throws with 24.3 seconds left in overtime as the Houston Rockets capped a season sweep of the host Boston Celtics with a 111-110 win Saturday.
Harden scored 21 points on just 7-of-24 shooting and committed five turnovers. But his free throws, just his second and third of the game, gave Houston the lead. Defensively, the Rockets forced Celtics forward Jaylen Brown into a miss that sealed their sixth straight victory.
It was Brown who sank the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that forced overtime, corralling a loose ball after Jayson Tatum missed two free throws with 5.1 seconds left and Boston trailing 104-101.
Westbrook and Harden combined for 12 rebounds and 13 assists, while Robert Covington chipped in16 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, which followed 6-for-22 3-point shooting in the first half with 7-for-15 shooting from behind the arc in the third to erase a 17-point deficit. P.J. Tucker added 13 rebounds.
Tatum paired 32 points with 13 rebounds for Boston, while Brown added 22 points. Marcus Smart scored 26 for the Celtics, who received 15 rebounds and three blocks from Daniel Theis.
The Rockets' wayward ball handling fueled the Celtics' run to the lead in the first quarter. Houston had nearly as many turnovers (seven) in the opening period as field goals (eight) and missed 9 of 11 3-pointers in the process.
Boston carried a 28-19 lead into the second quarter, turned a 9-0 run into a 39-23 lead and led by as many as 17 points before the Rockets clawed to within 44-36 on a Covington layup. But a critical sequence for the Celtics followed when Westbrook was whistled for a flagrant foul.
Smart, fouled shooting a three, converted all three free throws, and Gordon Hayward followed with a 3-pointer that stretched the lead back to 14. The Rockets were held to a season-low 45 first-half points, while the Celtics placed four in double figures: Smart (16), Hayward (14), Tatum (12) and Brown (10) en route to an 11-point lead at the intermission.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Russell Westbrook 41
Jayson Tatum 32
James Harden 8
Marcus Smart 7
Robert Covington 16
Daniel Theis 15
Russell Westbrook 8
||Free Throws Made
Jayson Tatum 10
James Harden 3
Marcus Smart 4
Robert Covington 3
Daniel Theis 3
Team Stats Summary
Boston will play their next game at home against Brooklyn. The Celtics have a W/L % of .714 after a win and .647 after a loss.
Houston will play their next game on the road against New York. The Rockets have a W/L % of .667 after a win and .650 after a loss.