for this game

Celtics top Rockets in heated preseason tilt

Oct 12, 2008 - 3:15 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- What was a simple preseason game between the Houston Rockets and world champion Boston Celtics nearly turned into much more.

Gabe Pruitt hit a bank shot with 6.6 seconds remaining as the Celtics edged the Rockets, 90-89, in a fiery matchup on Saturday.

Kevin Garnett scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Glen Davis scored 12 for the Celtics (2-1).

Hostilities began early when Ron Artest hit Paul Pierce on the right shoulder on a drive to the basket midway through the first quarter. No foul was called, but the Celtics' forward went to the locker room briefly with a bruised right shoulder.

Pierce returned and scored all of his 15 points by halftime.

Two minutes later, Tracy McGrady knocked Celtics rookie Bill Walker to the floor with an elbow to the ribs. Moments later McGrady drew his fist back as Celtics guard Eddie House took exception to the physical play and shouted at the Houston star.

Artest and Pierce were again the center of attention late in the second quarter when Artest landed hard on Pierce while the two fought for a rebound. Pierce was called for a technical foul in the third quarter after a hard foul on Artest.

McGrady returned from a sore left knee and scored 10 points in his preseason debut while Yao Ming added a game-high 16 points for the Rockets (2-1). Luis Scola scored 14 and appeared to hit the game-winning basket at the buzzer but it came just after the game clock expired.

Artest chipped in with 13 as the Rockets made 40 of 48 free throws in a game that featured 65 personal fouls between the teams.