92 - 97 Final - OT
  for this game

Pierce, Celtics down Rockets in OT

Mar 7, 2012 - 5:34 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored seven points in overtime en route to a 30-point night to lead the Celtics to a 97-92 victory over the Houston Rockets at TD Garden on Tuesday.

"Well we understand the urgency, especially at this point in the season, after the All-Star break," said Pierce. "Right now it's that stretch run and we understand it. We understand that we need to take care of it at home and we understand that we have a big road trip coming up that's not going to be easy, so we can't just give away games right now."

Ray Allen added 21 points, while Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Celtics matched their longest winning streak of the season with their fifth-straight victory.

Garnett's 13 rebounds gave him 13,100 for his career, moving him past Shaquille O'Neal for 12th all-time on the NBA's career list.

Kyle Lowry filled the stat sheet with 18 points, seven boards and seven assists. Luis Scola and Samuel Dalembert each chipped in a double-double as Scola scored 18 and pulled down 14 boards, and Dalembert netted 11 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. The Rockets dropped their fourth straight contest.

The extra session was a battle between Lowry and Pierce as Lowry netted six points, but Pierce tallied seven to give Boston a 95-92 lead with 1:19 left.

After coming up empty on offense, Houston forced an eight-second violation on Boston to regain possession with 30.3 seconds left still trailing by three.

However, Pierce forced a turnover from Lowry and Allen buried two at the line to give the home team a five-point lead it would not relinquish.

Houston went cold in the fourth, failing to connect on a basket from the field for a five-plus minute stretch that saw the Celtics trim a 10-point deficit to just three as Allen's layup made it an 80-77 game with 2:49 to play.

After Dalembert stopped the cold streak, Pierce and Garnett connected on two free throws apiece to pull within one, 82-81, with 55.9 left on the clock.

Courtney Lee missed a runner on the Rockets' next possession and Allen made them pay with a trey from the left corner that gave the home team an 84-82 advantage with 35.4 remaining.

Scola missed a jumper and Pierce secured the rebound and quickly sent the outlet pass to a wide-open Rondo. However, Rondo missed the easy layup that would have iced the game, and Goran Dragic hit a jumper from the corner on the other end to tie the game at 84 with 3.0 ticks on the clock.

Rondo inbounded to Allen, who got a good look at a potential game-winner from the elbow, but it hit the back of the rim to send the game to overtime.

"We started doing the worst thing you can do on the road, just start playing the score as opposed to playing the game," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale about his team's play down the stretch. "We had rhythm going and we kind of came down and lost our rhythm a little bit, then we just got too conservative trying to run the clock, trying to play perfect basketball. You just got to go play basketball."

Scola led all scorers with 11 points in the first quarter to give the Rockets a 28-21 edge.

The Celtics used a 10-2 run over the first six-plus minutes of the second quarter and a 9-1 spurt down the stretch to take a 46-40 lead at halftime.

After trailing by 10 in the third, Houston used a 10-1 surge to tie the game at 61, then closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 68-63 lead into the fourth.

Game Notes

Both teams play on Wednesday as Boston will travel to Philadelphia and the Rockets will head to Toronto...The Rockets opened a five-game road trip...Houston outrebounded Boston 57-38 in a losing effort.