Boston Celtics

Celtics-Rockets takeaways: Brown shines as C's improve to 19-0 at home

Jaylen Brown set the tone on both ends of the floor in another blowout win.

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The Boston Celtics are the first NBA team to win 30 games in the 2023-24 season.

The C's took care of business against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night at TD Garden with a huge second half. After leading by 11 at halftime, the C's outscored the Rockets 76-55 in the second half to win 145-113.

Boston sits atop the league and Eastern Conference standings with a 30-9 record.

All five Celtics starters scored double digits, including Jaylen Brown's game-high 32. Jayson Tatum poured in 27 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Tatum was ejected in the fourth quarter after arguing with the officials over a non-call.

The C's will be back in action against the Raptors in Toronto on Monday. Before we look ahead to that matchup, here are three takeaways from Celtics-Rockets.

Jaylen Brown sets the tone at both ends of the floor

Brown was absolutely locked in tonight.

He scored 32 points on an efficient 11-of-15 shooting (4-of-6 from 3-point range), along with six rebounds and two assists.

Brown also did a great job attacking the heart of the Rockets defense. His aggressive drives to the basket produced 10 free throw attempts. It's actually just the second time all season Brown has attempted 10-plus free throws in a game. The first was earlier in the week against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Brown made a tremendous impact defensively, too. He tallied two steals and blocked two shots, including this emphatic denial of a Jabari Smith Jr. dunk attempt.

Brown is one of the best two-way wings in the league with his scoring ability, athleticism, length and commitment to defense. The 27-year-old guard talked in the offseason about being a better and more consistent defensive player, and so far he's lived up to those expectations.

Celtics' unbeaten run at home is alive

The Celtics have extended their franchise-best win streak at home to begin a season. They are now 19-0 on the Garden floor. If you include last season, the C's home win streak is now 26 games, which is the third-longest in team history (spanning multiple seasons).

The Celtics aren't just beating teams at home, they're crushing them. Ten of the Celtics' 19 home victories have come by double digits.

There are a couple tough opponents coming up on Boston's home schedule. The San Antonio Spurs are next on Wednesday, but after that, the defending champion Denver Nuggets and resurgent Los Angeles Clippers come to town. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers come to the Garden on Feb. 1.

The league record for most consecutive wins at home to start a season is 39-0 set by the San Antonio Spurs in 2015-16. The league record for best home record in a regular season is 40-1 set by the historic 1985-86 Celtics.

This year's Celtics have a long way to go before approaching those two milestones, but they are off to a pretty good start.

Celtics' defense stifles Rockets

In a matchup of two top-ranked defenses, it was the Celtics that shined in this all-important facet of the game.

They blocked eight shots and tallied seven steals. Five different players blocked at least one shot, including Al Horford, who swatted a Jeff Green attempt in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics also did a great job contesting Rockets shots and closing their time and space, especially on the perimeter. Houston shot just 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) from 3-point range as a result.

The Celtics and Rockets entered this game ranked No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in defensive rating. After this game, the C's now rank No. 3 in opponents' field goal percentage and No. 6 in opponents points per game. The Celtics' defense is arguably the primary reason why they own the league's top record.

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