HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Terrence Jones has done a nice job of staying away from the distraction that has been Omer Asik. He just comes to play. The second year forward led all scorers with a career high 24 points hauling in nine rebounds in the Rockets 109-85 victory over the Boston Celtics Tuesday night at Toyota Center.
For the second straight game the Rockets never trailed as they started the game on a furious 18-1 run. The first quarter lead was fueled by defense which included four hoops off of Rockets blocked shots. Jones netted his first eight shots from the field and even stepped back to net a three for the second straight night. The Rockets led 40-18 after the first and led by as many as 35 in the game.
“My teammates got me a lot of easy shots through cuts, offensive rebounds and running hard,” Jones said. “I’ve just been trying to work hard and get ready for the opportunity to come to me.”
The Rockets turned a lot of Celtics misses into baskets in transition tallying 23 fast break points on the Celtics who shot just 32% for the game. It was the lowest opponent’s shooting percentage on the season for the Rockets.
“We got our hands on a lot of balls, had steals, deflections and blocked shots around the rim, ” McHale said. “We just had a lot of activity and that activity turns into offense for us.”
With a quiet demeanor, a workman like attitude, and solid performances since entering the starting line-up for the first time against Philadelphia on Nov 13th; Jones continues to impress. However, it is no surprise to the rest of the Rockets roster.
“I think he has a great knack for cutting and finding the rim and being at the right place at the right time,” Jeremy Lin said.
Omer Asik, who returned to practice on Monday, was dressed for the Rockets but did not enter the game until 6:47 remaining the the 4th quarter. McHale was not definitive if Asik would see more time in Wednesday night’s game at Dallas.
“We got a game again tomorrow night,” McHale said.”Everybody out there is playing. We will where the time goes with Omer.”
The Rockets, who have struggled to put a complete game together, seemingly did that on Tuesday night. The Celtics, unlike the Nuggets on Saturday, never made a strong run to make the game interesting in the second half. The Rockets meanwhile had 11 players take the floor and score.
“I think that’s something we have been talking about, building on leads and keeping the pressure up and not dropping out level of play just because of what the scoreboard is,” Lin added.
“Tonight the difference is we did it for four quarters and that’s why we got the big win,” Dwight Howard said.
Howard scored 10 points with 11 boards and three blocks in the victory. Patrick Beverley added 16 while Jeremy Lin scored 11 points and dished out five assists off the bench.
The Rockets have not trailed in a game since the third quarter last Thursday against the Knicks.
Former Rocket Courtney Lee led the Celtics with 17 points off the bench. Celtics coach Brad Stevens retuned to Houston where he led the Butler Bulldogs to an NCAA title game appearance in 2011.
The Rockets face the Mavericks on Wednesday for the second time this season. The Rockets beat Dallas at home 133-105 back on Nov. 1st. With a big second half lead the Rockets were able to rest their starters which should bode well for them on the road in the second half of a back-to-back.
“We have to come out with a lot of energy, (Dallas) plays well at home, we got to come out and hit first.” Howard said.
Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @ADBSportsguy
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