Brown (39 pts), Tatum (38) lead Celtics past Rockets 126-102

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Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket past Houston Rockets forward Tari Eason, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Boston. At far right is Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44)(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 14 of his 39 points in the third quarter, pouring it on after he was knocked to the parquet by a flagrant foul that sparked the Boston Celtics to a 126-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

Jayson Tatum added 38 points and eight rebounds, and Robert Williams III grabbed 15 rebounds to go with his 11 points as Boston won its third game in a row.

Jalen Green scored 28 and Kevin Porter Jr. had 22 points and nine assists for the Rockets, who snapped a five-game losing streak in Chicago on Monday.

Boston led 65-62 midway through the third quarter when Brown got the ball to the left of the basket and Porter came across the top of him with an excessively emphatic shot block that sent the ball flying into Brown’s face. The Celtics All-Star went to the ground, and Porter apologetically came over to check on him.


The play was ruled a flagrant foul; Brown hit both free throws to make it 67-62. The Rockets never got closer than five points after that, with Boston extending the lead to 12 points near the end of the third, 17 early in the fourth.


Interim Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla missed the game because of eye irritation and was replaced on the bench by assistant Damon Stoudamire. Mazzulla handled his interview on the pregame show, but was clearly uncomfortable. The team made the announcement about 10 minutes before the opening tipoff.

Mazzulla was elevated to interim coach on the eve of training camp when head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the full season for inappropriate workplace behavior.


The Celtics observed a moment of silence for Paul Silas, a former Boston player and the father of Rockets coach Stephen Silas, who died this month at the age of 79. … The replay center was busy at the end of the third quarter, reviewing both the buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Green and the putback by Robert Williams that preceded it. Williams dunked it as the shot clock expired; it was ruled no basket but overturned. That left the score at the end of three 92-81, Boston.



Rockets: Play in Dallas on Thursday night to complete a three-game, four-night road trip.

Celtics: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.


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