The Boston Celtics might be the kings of playing games which make you want to throw shoes through your television, chew your fingernails until they bleed and jump up and down on your couch Tom Cruise style simultaneously.
A game that was firmly in the Celtics' grasp turned into a double-digit Houston lead in the third quarter, mostly thanks to the Celtics deciding that they no longer felt like playing basketball on this night. Boston then turned Houston's double-digit lead into a "bar fight," mostly thanks to the Celtics remembering that the needed to actually play basketball if they wanted to win a basketball game. Everything that happened after that turned into a blur of tremendous defense, missed layups in the open court, clutch jumpers and fantastic ball movement.
Paul Pierce had his most inefficient 30-point night in recent memory. Rajon Rondo's off-and-on performance pretty much told the story of the Celtics' night. Kevin Garnett was the only Celtic that actually felt like attempting to rebound, as proven by the 57-38 edge on the glass that Houston had. Ray Allen dropped in a quiet 21 points. Chris Wilcox and Mickael Pietrus were completely useless on offense and only fairly useless on defense. Brandon Bass might have set a new world record for the longest ankle-taping in the history of human existence.
Ugly doesn't even begin to describe what kind of win this was, but it's a win. With a schedule ahead of them that looks more like Coldplay's tour schedule than a schedule meant for an NBA team (don't ask me why I picked Coldplay, I just did), this was almost a must-have for Boston. The Celtics are now a game behind Philadelphia for the division lead and — what a coincidence — they'll get to play Philly tomorrow night for a share of first place.