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