Celtics Bury Rockets Behind LaFrentz
Boston 102, Houston 82
BOSTON, Nov. 13 (Ticker) -- Raef LaFrentz equaled his career-high three points at a time.
LaFrentz made seven 3-pointers (7-of-9) and scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half as the Boston Celtics breezed to a 102-82 victory over the Houston Rockets.
"Any time you see that volume of shots, you know the ball is really moving, zinging around," LaFrentz said. "More times than not, we're playing some pretty good basketball. It was one of those nights where our defense was clicking, and I think our offense fed off of that."
"He came out looking for it," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He was very aggressive, which I like. Raef, when he's engaged like that, he's pretty good."
LaFrentz did not miss from the arc until there was 6:39 left in the third quarter. By that time, the Celtics held a 66-56 lead and added to it with a 7-0 run capped by a fast-break jumper by Ricky Davis with 4:48 to go.
All-Star swingman Paul Pierce had 19 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds while Davis also scored 19 points for the Celtics, who had lost their last three home meetings with Houston.
"Obviously, Raef was the star -- he scored 32 points," Rivers said. "But I look at Paul's numbers tonight and Ricky's (numbers) and the extra passes they made and I thought that was the key."
Boston came out blazing, starting with a 9-0 run. In the first quarter, the Celtics forced seven turnovers while holding the Rockets to 14 points.
"They were great. I give them credit," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "What separated the two teams were those things right there, but they played a great game. The margin of victory was much higher than it was. They took it easy on us."
Houston's two-man attack of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming was held to 14 points each. Stromile Swift scored 17 points off the bench for the Rockets, who shot 37 percent (27-of-72) from the field.
When asked what was missing from his team's approach, Van Gundy said, "Hustle, heart, will, quickness, speed, intensity and passion."