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GameCenter: Houston, we have a problem

1/11/2011

BOSTON -- Everything you need to know after the Houston Rockets defeated the Boston Celtics 108-102 Monday night at the TD Garden:

Rapid Reaction | Game Recap | Box Score

--FORSBERG: DOC SOUNDS OFF ON DEFENSELESS EFFORT--

Elsa/Getty Images

Von Wafer provided the highlight of Boston's night with this emphatic one-handed jam.But Celtics coach Doc Rivers couldn't remember a game like this, a game in which his team failed to generate a single stop for nearly 10 minutes. And it happened in the fourth quarter, a transgression so disturbing that one has to believe Kevin Garnett was tied down while watching the game because the locker room was still in one piece when reporters were allowed in later.

--MAY: POST-HOLIDAY BLUES BACK AGAIN--

The Boston Celtics have pretty much owned the East since their opening-night win over the Miami Heat way back in October, but my, how things have changed since then. With their utterly uninspiring performance Monday night, resulting in a 108-102 loss to the undermanned Houston Rockets, the Celtics now trail the rampaging Heat by one game. And the way things are going, it could be a lot more than one game when those teams meet again next month.

--PAYNE: DANIELS DELIVERS ONLY SPARK--

With their defense failing them in the fourth quarter of Monday's tilt with the Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics needed an offensive spark to keep them within shouting distance and bolster their chances of stealing the game in the final minutes. With the usual suspects -- Paul Pierce and Ray Allen -- resting on the bench, Marquis Daniels stepped in to fill that void and scored eight of the Celtics' first 14 fourth-quarter points.

--DAILY DIME: CELTICS LOOKING UP AT HEAT NOW--

If there is one thing the Boston Celtics have prided themselves on during these past four seasons, it's been their defense. But it was that very defense that was the cause of their demise Monday night as they dropped a 108-102 decision to the undermanned Houston Rockets. The loss put the C's a full game behind the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, which gave way to a scary question being posed within the TD Garden locker room. Had the slumping Celtics, playing just .500 basketball in their past 10 games, kissed goodbye to the top spot in the East ... for good?

--POSTGAME NOTES: ALLEN SORE AFTER SCREENING--

Celtics guard Ray Allen admitted to soreness in his left shoulder and left side after stepping into a blindside fourth-quarter screen set by Houston's Jared Jeffries, but was waiting until morning to see how much pain lingered from the incident that briefly chased him from Monday's game... Also notes on: Rick Adelman reflects fondly on Von Wafer; Too many minutes for Big Baby; No KG didn't affect Boston's lackluster effort.

Video Vault

Click HERE to watch all the video from Monday's game.

TWEET OF THE NIGHT