Rockets extend streak to 15 with 123-120 win over Celtics

Mar 05, 2018, 01:00
Rockets extend streak to 15 with 123-120 win over Celtics

"In the first half they were getting a lot of easy looks, they made us scramble defensively".

Harden led the Rockets with 26 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals.

They hope games like this one showcase that they can play pretty good defense, too.

With Houston down 115-112, superstar James Harden missed a three-pointer and the rebound was secured by Celtics guard Terry Rozier. Ariza made a 3-pointer before stealing the ball from Kyrie Irving and finishing with a basket on the other end to cap the run. With 2.8 seconds left, Irving missed on objective again, but he didn't hit the rim to turn the ball over.

More news: Best bets for Wilder-Ortiz

Paul made two more freebies, and Irving got fouled again with 2.8 seconds left.

The Celts missed two more shots and turned the ball over yet again on their next two possessions, and Chris Paul's two free throws gave Houston a 119-115 lead with 15 seconds to go. Gordon made one of two free throws to make it 123-120 with 2.3 seconds remaining, and Marcus Smart's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Houston's winning streak ties the second-longest in franchise history, accomplished twice during Hakeem Olajuwon's tenure in the 1990s, and trails only a 22-game run the Rockets had in the 2007-08 season.

It's their second long winning streak of this season after Houston won 14 in a row beginning in November and stretching into December. The Celtics will have to score more points than they did in the first matchup to leave Houston with a win. "These last couple games we've been missing that spark off the bench, and he was big for us and he's been doing that since he's been here", James Harden, who finished with 28 points himself, told ESPN after the game. With the win, Houston improved to 48-13 overall and 24-7 on the road.

More news: Vladimir Putin Unveils 'Invincible' Nuclear Weapons

Evan Fournier broke a tie on a long 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left, and Orlando rookie Jonathan Isaac helped preserve the lead with his third block of the game as the Magic beat the Grizzlies 107-100 to stretch Memphis' losing streak to 13 games. And Greg Monroe had his second consecutive double-digit scoring game as a Celtic, with a solid 18 points (6-9 FG) and six rebounds in 19 minutes on the floor. Jarell Martin added 19 as Memphis remained winless since January 29.

Lonzo Ball canned three consecutive 3-pointers in the final three minutes, and Julius Randle scored 25 points to lead Los Angeles over host San Antonio. But they gave up a big run, then found themselves down three - without timeouts - late in the final minute. Ball finished with 18 points, and Isaiah Thomas added 21 points.

The Celtics carried that momentum into the fourth quarter as they continued their rally with good shot selection from the floor and defense that ultimately led to Houston shooting 25 percent from the floor in the second half.

CJ McCollum led the way as Portland earned its sixth straight victory, downing visiting Oklahoma City.

More news: Atlanta airport teases 'Black Panther' fans with flights To Wakanda

Rookie forward Zach Collins added 12 points for the Blazers, part of a close cluster in the Western Conference standings that includes the Thunder, Spurs and Timberwolves. Paul, a nine-time All-Star, is still performing at a high level at age 32, putting up 18.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game in his debut season with the Rockets. He had 21 points and was 5-7 from three-point.