Can the Houston Rockets surpass their 2008 winning streak?

Dean Simpson
March 7, 2018

In their first matchup, the Rockets got up big - 26 to be exact - but the Celtics fought back with their defense.

The Houston Rockets got some revenge on the Boston Celtics with a 123-120 win at Toyota Center on Saturday.

Harden, the NBA's leading scorer, comes into Saturday's game averaging 31 points per game and almost nine assists per game. Ricky Rubio added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Derrick Favors scored 15 to lead Utah to its fifth consecutive win in Sacramento. With a win against Boston on Saturday, the Rockets can once again move into outright first place in the Western Conference Standings. They put in one of their best offensive performances of the season on Wednesday, shooting 62.1% from the floor on the way to a 134-106 victory against Charlotte. The shooting troubles were the only negative on a night where outside of Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies didn't seem all that interested in competing. Caldwell-Pope, with 13 rebounds, and Ball, with 11 assists recorded double-doubles.

James Harden was 6-18 from the floor and only 3-12 from downtown, but he had 10 assists and 7 rebounds while hitting 11 of his 13 free throws.

Like Houston, their leading scorer came off the bench, Marcus Morris. Just in the first-half, they attempted a combined 33 three-pointers.

The bench needs to prove that they can maintain this, but we are finally at a point where things are going to settle.

After Boston came back from 26 points down to defeat Houston on December 29, the Rockets had been looking for some payback. Eric Gordon scored 29 points in just 27 minutes, including seven three-pointers.

Houston played that night without starters Chris Paul and Clint Capela and reserve swingman Luc Mbah a Moute.

The game was close throughout, but it came down to a number of tough plays at the end of the game.

Anthony Davis is playing really good this season and his game stats are absurd, he has put up 53 points and 18 rebounds against Phoenix Suns, 45 points, 17 rebounds, five steals and five blocks game against the Miami Heat, 42 points and 15 rebounds against Los Angeles Lakers, and that are just some of his fantastic performances. The Rockets nevertheless led 64-38 early in the second half before coming undone, their stellar offense unraveling against the Celtics' suffocating defense soon thereafter. A minute later, another turnover led to a game-tying three by Ariza.

And with some more misses - including some gut-wrenching Kyrie Irving free throw intentional miss attempts that went awry (one went in and the other was whistled for not touching the rim) - it all compounded into one rough ending for the Celtics. Marcus Smart's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer - after hauling in a full-court pass, turning and firing in about two seconds - stunningly drew iron but did not fall.

"(Being) right there isn't good enough", Celtics guard Kyrie Irving told reporters after a 123-120 loss to Rockets, according to The Boston Globe. They can win it with their defense and they can compete with their offense.

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