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NBA Game Summary - Houston at Boston

(Wednesday, January 7th)

Final Score: Houston 89, Boston 85

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Yao Ming posted 26 points and eight rebounds, and the Houston Rockets dealt the Boston Celtics an 89-85 defeat at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Celtics have been reeling as of late, dropping six of eight since a franchise-record 19-game win streak. The loss also snaps the defending champions' 13-game home win streak, dropping Boston to 18-2 this season as the host.

Aaron Brooks had 19 points for the Rockets, who got their first win on a five- game road trip. They had lost the first three games to Toronto, Atlanta and Philadelphia, respectively, before Wednesday's win. Ron Artest added 17, while Von Wafer had 12 points in the win.

"Some days we step up, step forward, other days we step back," Yao said. "I think today, we stepped up. We need to continue doing so in the next game, and then the next game."

Paul Pierce had a team-high 26 points for the Celtics, who have now lost three games in a row. Kevin Garnett contributed 18 points and eight rebounds, while Ray Allen had 13 in the loss. Glen Davis posted 12 points for Boston.

"Right now our defense is not getting the job done," Pierce said. "When you look at us, that's one of the first things we talk about. That's the type of team we are, and when we don't defend it doesn't allow us to get out and run the break."

Heading into the fourth with the Celtics up 74-71, the teams played even for most of the quarter before Wafer's three with 43.8 seconds left put Houston ahead, 87-85.

Pierce missed his jumper on the next possession, and Yao put in a layup with 12.9 seconds to go, making it a four-point game.

Allen missed a layup with just over five seconds left, and Houston secured the ball and the win from there.

"Yao is unstoppable," Artest said. "Sometimes a center will have a good game against him, but realistically, Yao cannot be stopped. Then, when you have shooters surrounding him, it's hard. It's hard to guard him. He shot right over the top. When he's playing like that, we're going to be tough to beat."

Pierce, Garnett and Allen scored 27 of Boston's 31 points in the opening quarter, and the Celtics held a 31-22 lead after 12 minutes.

Down five late in the first half, the Rockets went on an 11-2 run to take the lead and carried a 52-49 advantage to halftime.

Boston regained a 68-66 lead on Pierce's three to cap a 7-0 run with just under four minutes left in the third, and the Celtics led, 74-71 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Yao shot 10-of-13 from the field...Boston had won the three previous meetings with Houston...Houston's Tracy McGrady (knee) did not play for the second time in three games...The Rockets shot 48.6 percent from the field, while Boston shot 42.9 percent...Houston finishes up its road trip in Oklahoma City on Friday.

01/07 23:27:06 ET

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