Celtics-Rockets Recap: Houston Shows Championship Mettle With Win Over Boston
07 March, 2018, 00:19 | Author: Virgil Todd
Despite poor night from the floor by both of their superstars, the Rockets found a way to overcome the best defense in the National Basketball Association to win on the road. Not a single one of the second unit players finished the game with a negative plus minus, and they truly did everything possible to win the game.
Harden is arguably the leading MVP candidate this season, as his Rockets are atop the Western Conference standings, and while his assist and rebounding numbers have dipped from a year ago, he leads the league in scoring by more than three points a game. 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. "So we have a lot in this locker room".
This will be an entertaining game and will go well past the 99-98 total we saw when the sides last met. Houston's constantly active defense had no answer for his post-up moves, so he kept attacking whenever he received the ball in close proximity to the basket. With a win against Boston on Saturday, the Rockets can once again move into outright first place in the Western Conference Standings. With 2.8 seconds left, Irving missed on objective again, but he didn't hit the rim to turn the ball over.
Irving and Paul hit two free throws each before Irving made one and purposely missed the second with 2.8 seconds left. "In the first half it was a little too easy for them ... and the reason why we won was fourth-quarter defense".
The Rockets are the Association's hottest team and are now sitting on a 14-game win streak.
Surprisingly though, Boston - in its four game winning streak since the All-Star break - has seen a surge in scoring, averaging almost 119 points. "Guys did an unbelievable job", said Boston coach Brad Stevens, who also confirmed that injured small forward Gordon Hayward will not return this season after breaking his ankle in their season-opener.
Isaiah Thomas added 21 points for the Lakers off the bench while Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 each.
The loss put an end to Boston's four-game winning streak.
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"Eric Gordon was huge", Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Boston took the first meeting this season by rallying from a 26-point deficit for a 99-98 win on December 28.
And by the end of the third quarter, with a three-point lead and successfully matching each bucket made at the other end of the court, the Green were rolling on the backs of their bench.
Morris got to work after that, hitting consecutive 3s to put the Celtics back on top.
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. James Harden added 26 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists while Ariza scored 21 points. That should mean Irving is all set for no rest until April.
The best part is that when you have a starting unit as young as the Celtics, it makes all the difference when you have a bench that will give you an advantage.
Much like Houston's star players, the Celtics stars didn't have great nights either Kyrie Irving and Al Horford combined to go 10-29 from the field and 2-8 from three-point range.
He set a new record with 109 appearances at the plate as a pinch hitter, and posted a franchise record for pinch-hits with 27. Bob Nightengale reports that Ichiro Suzuki is close to finalizing one year major league deal with the Seattle Mariners .
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Already, Democrats have been performing far better than expected in state legislative elections since Trump became president. Trump, himself, would ignite such an energetic movement of resistance", said Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan.
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