BOSTON (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 41 points and James Harden had 21, including a pair of free throws with 25 seconds left in overtime to give the Houston Rockets their sixth straight victory, a 111-110 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
Boston rallied from a four-point deficit in the final 20 seconds of regulation and sent the game to overtime on Jaylen Brown’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Celtics scored the first basket of the extra period and led 110-109 but did not score in the final 2:49 of the game, missing their last six shots.
Robert Covington added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won 10 of their last 12 games and beaten Boston five times in a row.
Jayson Tatum had 32 points and 13 rebounds, Marcus Smart scored 26 points and Brown had 22. Daniel Theis had 15 rebounds for Boston, the last in the final seconds of overtime to set up a short baseline jumper that was released after the buzzer before harmlessly swishing through the net.
The Celtics had won 14 of their previous 17 games and could have moved into a tie with Toronto atop the Atlantic Division with a win.
Boston led by as many as 17 in the first half, but the Rockets scored 13 straight points near the beginning of the second to take their first lead of the game 66-64. Boston missed nine straight shots into the fourth quarter and still trailed 102-98 when Westbrook hit one of two free throws with 19 seconds left.
Smart leaned in for a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, but Westbrook got away on the fast break and Theis reached out to grab him; they had to go to a replay to determine that it wasn’t a clear path foul. The Houston guard hit both free throws to make it 104-101 with 8.1 seconds left in regulation.
The Rockets sent Tatum to the line, where he missed the first free throw. He intentionally banged the second off the front of the rim, and Brown grabbed it at the top of the key before hitting the tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, tied 104-all.
Rockets: Westbrook scored at least 20 points for the 30th straight game, joining Harden, who had a 34-game streak of 20 points this season. According to ESPN, they are the first teammates to have 20-points in 30 or more games in a row since Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in 1961-62.
Celtics: Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins, members of the 2008 NBA champions, watched the game from courtside. Pierce wore his championship ring. … Kemba Walker missed his fifth straight game with a sore left knee.
Harden stayed on the floor for a few minutes after landing badly when he missed a layup at the end of the first half. He walked off holding his left wrist, but returned for the start of the second.
In the third quarter, Westbrook stayed down after he appeared to hit his head against Theis’ leg. The Rockets guard remained in the game.
Rockets: At Knicks on Tuesday.
Celtics: Host Nets on Tuesday.
Source: Fox Sports