Pierce, who shot 8 for 14, led five Celtics (18-17) in double figures. Kevin Garnett had 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Rajon Rondo had 12 points and eight assists. Courntey Lee and Jared Sullinger each scored 14 points off the bench. The 14 points for Lee tie his second-highest scoring output as a Celtic. Sullinger, a rookie out of Ohio State, was just two points shy of tying his career high, and his 11 rebounds tie his second best output of the season.
The loss was the second straight for Houston (21-16) . James Harden led all scorers with 24 points and he also had five assists. Chandler Parsons scored 18 points on 7 for 12 shooting. Jeremy Lin scored 12 points with five assists, but he also had five turnovers.