The Houston Rockets led by 24 points going into the half on Thursday night over the Boston Celtics.
Then, it all came crashing down.
Houston’s offense stalled, and the Rockets scored just 16 points in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Boston rebounded to have two consecutive 30+ point quarters to close the game after starting with just 12 points in the first period.
Boston’s Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin were huge off the bench, the scrappy backcourt players hounding Houston’s guards and slowing the beginning of offensive sets by picking up dribblers before halfcourt.
The game wound up coming down to the wire in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and two huge errors by James Harden helped Boston seal the victory.
Officials had been spotty all evening with calling fouls on extended arms. That changed with under ten seconds left, as Harden was called for two offensive fouls as the Rockets tried to inbound the ball. The first offensive foul gave Boston the ball with seven seconds left, and let Al Horford hit the game-winning shot.
Call them flops by Marcus Smart if you like, but there’s little doubt Harden let his emotions get the better of him. He should have never let himself pick up the second one to seal his team’s fate.
Boston beat Houston, 99-98, in a game that is sure to be talked about at length after tomorrow’s L2M report comes out.