Al Horford.

Watch: Al Horford hits dramatic game-winner in wild finish against the Rockets

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Football News

The Boston Celtics extended the Houston Rockets' losing streak to four games with a dramatic win at TD Garden on Thursday night.

The C's overcame a 26-point deficit to secure an improbable 99-98 victory thanks to some controversial moments down the stretch.

James Harden was called for two offensive fouls on Marcus Smart that presented the Celtics with quick back-to-back possessions in less than five seconds that allowed them to eventually take their first lead of the game and seal a win.

It was the second game in consecutive nights for Boston and after a grueling December which has seen them slump, they could easily have rolled over and accepted defeat as they struggled to contain Harden and his teammates for much of the game.

But this team is made of sterner stuff and like they have done for much of the season, they showed resilience and fight to somehow come away victorious when a defeat looked certain.

The winning play was produced by Al Horford as he nailed a beautiful jump hook over Rockets defender Tarik Black with just 3.7 seconds left on the clock to send the home crowd into raptures.

The big man was quiet for most of the night and finished the game with just nine points and eight rebounds but was trusted to make the crucial go-ahead basket down the stretch.

"Coach called a play. We were supposed to do some handoffs and the ball was eventually going to get into Kyrie's hands," Horford said, per ESPN. "[Coach] just looked at me and told me to take it. They guarded pretty well because everybody denied the guards, so it worked out perfect for me.

"I airballed the shot in the third quarter, that same shot earlier and missed another one. It's one of my go-to shots, so I felt like I was due to make one. It felt good."

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

Houston was left stunned by the wild finish to the game as they managed to throw away a win they had in their grasp.

Harden was left extremely frustrated by the calls that went against him in the final seconds.

The game only featured a two-man refereeing crew as one of the officials suffered a back injury during the warm-ups and the Rockets shooting guard called it "unacceptable" that there were only two refs available.

"Well, first of all, I'm wondering how do you only have two officials on a national TV game? That's the first question," said Harden.

"You can't have two officials in a professional game. There's a lot of no-calls that need to be called, because that changes the dynamic of the game."

It's a fourth consecutive loss for the Rockets but Boston has now won two on the bounce after a Christmas Day loss to the Washington Wizards and moves to 29-10 in the Eastern Conference.

James Harden
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference

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