BOSTON — The division title has been clinched and with it a spot in the playoffs. All the Boston Celtics need now is to start playing well.

Luis Scola had 27 points and 11 rebounds, making back-to-back baskets in the last 1:21, and the Houston Rockets scored the final 10 points of overtime Friday night to beat Boston 119-114 and send the Celtics to their third consecutive home loss.

“Probably our best win of the year,” said Rockets Coach Rick Adelman, whose team already has been eliminated from playoff contention. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys who played. They got down. (It) looked like they had us, and we came right back at ’em quickly.”

Aaron Brooks scored 30 with nine assists for Houston, hitting a tying 3-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation as the Rockets took advantage of Boston’s missed free throws — 13 in all, and three in the last 48 seconds of the fourth quarter — to make it to overtime.

“We’ve been a pretty smart team,” Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s what bothered me, how many things we did out of character.”

Chase Budinger added 24 points for the Rockets, who were without Trevor Ariza because of flulike symptoms.

“This is big for the young guys coming in here,” said Kyle Lowry, who scored 18 points as a reserve. “It feels good when we just say, ‘Wow. We beat the Celtics in Boston.’ It’s a feel-good win.”

Paul Pierce scored 27 points and Rajon Rondo 23 for Boston. Rondo added 10 assists to surpass Hall of Famer Bob Cousy for the Celtics’ single-season franchise record.

Rondo, who also had five steals and five rebounds, has 724 assists for the season, topping Cousy’s total of 715 in 1959-60.

Pierce missed four free throws, and the Celtics shot just 65 percent from the line. On defense, Boston allowed the Rockets to shoot 51 percent from the floor and make 12 of 18 3-pointers.

But Rivers said he was more troubled by the senseless fouls when the Celtics had a comfortable lead, and by the missed assignments that should be second-nature to a veteran team that won the NBA title two seasons ago.

“There are so many things I could point out but I won’t,” he said. “We played like a high school team at times, as far as the way our thought process was.”

Rondo picked up a pair of assists early in the first, the second to set up Kevin Garnett with 8:45 left in the quarter and surpass Cousy. At the next break, the milestone was noted over the public-address system, and the fans and Rondo’s teammates applauded.

Cousy retired in 1970 as the NBA’s career leader with 6,955. He’s 14th now.


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