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The Boston Celtics stormed back from a 26-point deficit to knock off the Houston Rockets, 99-98. They were aided by two controversial offensive fouls called against James Harden in the final seconds.

Both fouls were called when Harden appeared to knock down Celtics guard Marcus Smart as the Rockets were attempting to inbound the ball.

Harden finished with 34 points and 10 assists. Eric Gordon scored 24 points for Houston, which shot 25% in the second half and lost its fourth straight. The Rockets led the entire game until the final 3.9 seconds.


Houston opened the game on a 12-0 run and led 62-38 at halftime. After committing six turnovers in the first half, Houston had seven in the third quarter and Boston capitalized by outscoring the Rockets 31-16. Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 26 points in the third quarter as Boston picked up its defense, holding Houston to just four field goals in the period.

The Rockets must be sick to their stomachs for blowing a game like this. This is going to be a quick turnaround for the Rockets, as the team now heads to Washington D.C. to play the Wizards on Friday night.

For the Celtics, it was a great moral victory especially after their lackluster performance against the Wizards on Christmas Day.