Housten Rockets beat Boston Celtics for 15th straight win

Ryan Anderson Brandan Wright

The Houston Rockets got some revenge on the Boston Celtics with a 123-120 win at Toyota Center on Saturday. However, their teammates were more than happy to pick up the slack.

Philadelphia and Milwaukee are separated by 1.5 games in the fight for playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

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

During the fourth quarter, the Celtics led by as much as six points with four minutes to play, but that didn't phase the Rockets. But defense was the deciding factor in this one.

Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, but the loss snapped a three-game winning streak.

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

Ball extended the lead to 109-107 at 1.15 but the Spurs fought back with two free throws from Paul Gasol before Ball claimed his final three-pointer of the night to secure the victory.

Paul Millsap hit a lead-saving 3-pointer with 2:26 remaining, sending Denver to a victory over host Cleveland. James Harden had 26, but he went 6 for 18 from the floor. As a positive, Houston will have Paul and Capella for the game - two players who did not play in the December 28 game due to injuries.

Since the break, the Celtics bench ranks first in the league in minutes played, first in scoring, second in field goal percentage, fourth in 3-point percentage, first in rebounding and second in net rating (plus-5.6). He made both to put the Rockets up by four 119-115. Irving hit a layup seconds later, but Harden made one of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left to make it 120-117.

More news: Predicted Spurs line up to face Huddersfield

Detroit's Blake Griffin scored a game-high 31 points and added a team-best six assists, but it wasn't enough as the Pistons lost their eighth consecutive road game.

Boston's offense went cold after that, and the Celtics didn't score for more than three minutes as Houston scored nine points in a row to take a 76-74 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the third.

Nearly two minutes into the second, the Rockets were finally able to get on the board to end the C's 14-0 run, which eventually turned into an 18-2 run and a 40-32 lead for the Celtics with just under 10 minutes to play in the half. "Tonight definitely proved to us that we can win in that style of basketball, a grind-it-out type of game". Eric Gordon topped the Rockets with 29.

Paul, who sat out with an injury in the last matchup with the Celtics, added 15 points and Ariza had 21.

Along with Irving, Brown and Tatum are combining for over 27 points per game, followed by Horford with almost 13, Marcus Morris with 12, and both Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart averaging just over 10 respectively.

Like Houston, their leading scorer came off the bench, Marcus Morris. We just wanted to compete at a high level. But they still have a seven-game lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 2 spot.

"We're all trying to get better".

When the Celtics arrived in the Lone Star State riding a four-game winning streak, they found themselves playing a Rockets team with the NBA's best record and the top spot in the West.

PORTLAND, Ore. - CJ McCollum scored 28 points, Damian Lillard had 20 and Portland won its sixth straight game with a victory over Oklahoma City.

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