NBA: Boston 103, Houston 91

Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:34 PM

BOSTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Paul Pierce led a late surge that halted a Houston comeback Friday and lifted Boston to a 103-91 victory over Houston.

The Celtics won their fifth straight and for the first time in almost a month have climbed two games above the .500 mark. Their high water mark thus far this season came when they had a 12-9 record on Dec. 12.

Boston had a 16-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Houston cut it to one with 7:22 to play. The Celtics then ended the game on a 20-9 run.

Pierce scored 23 points while Kevin Garnett had 17 and eight rebounds. Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger both scored 14 points off the bench.

Houston was led by James Harden with 24 points. He had scored at least 25 in 14 consecutive games.

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