UNBEATEN AT HOME. The Boston Celtics remain unbeaten at home after pulling off a rousing 145-113 win over the Houston Rockets to improve to a 19-0 on home court. BOSTON CELTICS FACEBOOK PHOTO
The Boston Celtics lit up the scoreboard and their former coach, Ime Udoka, as they cruised to a 145-113 victory over the Houston Rockets at TD Garden on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines, January 14).
The win marked a historic achievement for the Celtics, who extended their unbeaten streak at home to 19-0, a feat never before accomplished in the franchise’s illustrious history.
EJECTED. Jayson Tatum exits early in the game after a heated exchange with referees that resulted in back-to-back technical fouls. BOSTON CELTICS FACEBOOK PHOTO
The show’s star, Jayson Tatum, didn’t just let his on-court performance do the talking. In the fourth quarter, with the Celtics comfortably leading by 30 points, Tatum found himself in a heated exchange with the referees, resulting in back-to-back technical fouls and an early exit from the game.
Despite the ejection, Tatum remained unapologetic, stating that the game was already over and he had to stand up for himself.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla echoed a sentiment of understanding, acknowledging the delicate balance players must strike when defending themselves on the court.
The Celtics’ offensive firepower wasn’t solely reliant on Tatum, as Jaylen Brown stepped up with a stellar performance, contributing 32 points to the team’s cause.
The victory showcased Boston’s individual talent and the team’s collective ability to dominate their opponents.
Facing the Rockets, who have struggled this season with a record of 19-19, the Celtics capitalized on their home-court advantage.
Cam Whitmore and Alperen Sengun put up commendable efforts for Houston, scoring 22 and 19 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to thwart the Celtics’ relentless attack.
Despite the Rockets leading by six points early in the game, Boston seized control and never looked back. They opened up a double-digit lead by halftime, maintaining their grip on the game and denying Houston any chance of a comeback.
The matchup had additional narrative layers as Ime Udoka returned to Boston for the first time since his suspension and subsequent firing on the eve of the 2022-23 season.
Udoka, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his lone season as head coach, received a mixed reaction from the crowd during his introduction.
Reflecting on his return, Udoka expressed a desire to move past the controversies, saying he would want to get a chance to run it back with a group that he can build and grow with. He acknowledged letting some people down but indicated that they had talked it out and were moving forward.
The Celtics, now 26 consecutive regular-season games unbeaten at home dating back to last March, will take their momentum on the road to face the Toronto Raptors.
Meanwhile, the Rockets look to bounce back in a challenging matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers in their next game.