Fast-breaking Celtics surge past slumping Rockets

Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:54am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Celtics guard Avery Bradley scored 21 points off the bench and the Celtics turned a pair of back-breaking runs into a 111-95 victory over the struggling Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Monday.

Fellow guard Isaiah Thomas added 23 points and six assists as Boston (6-4) erased what was once a 15-point deficit with a 15-0 blitz late in the second quarter, a spurt that included eight points from Bradley.

Boston put the game on ice by closing the third quarter with another 15-0 run, turning a 72-68 lead into an 87-68 runaway entering the fourth.

Forward Jae Crowder added 16 points for the Celtics, whose ball-hawking halfcourt defense set the tone for the staggering momentum swing.

Boston scored a whopping 39 points off 22 Rockets turnovers and ran Houston (4-7) ragged with 22 fast-break points and 16 steals.

"One thing that we've been working on since the beginning of the year is being able to finish on the break as far as making the right play, if it's a finish or making the next pass," Bradley told reporters.

"I feel like we're doing a good job with that."

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza paired 19 points (on 4-of-10 three-point shooting) with nine rebounds but had four turnovers. Houston guards James Harden (16 points) and Ty Lawson added four turnovers apiece.

Houston appeared inspired early, particularly defensively, harassing the Celtics into a series of miscues and hurried shots beginning with the close of the first quarter.   Continued...

Nov 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) fight for a loose ball in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports