Can the Rockets defeat the defensive-minded Celtics?

Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets Betting Preview 03/03/18
Rockets look to get revenge against Celtics
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05 March, 2018

Eric Gordon scored 29 points off the bench, James Harden had 26 points and 10 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Boston Celtics 123-120 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to a season-high 15 games. In the end, the team won thanks to-you guessed it-defense.

Harden, the NBA's leading scorer, comes into Saturday's game averaging 31 points per game and almost nine assists per game.

Irving hit a layup, and Harden missed the second of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left to give the C's a chance.

"Defense (is) what it boiled down to", Rockets guard Eric Gordon said after the game (ESPN).

Houston, which features a plethora of offensive scorers, enters Saturday's game ranked second in points per game (113.8) and first in 3-pointers (944), nailing just over 40 percent per game. Al Horford answered with a hook shot, but after Harden missed a triple, Tucker stole the rebound from Rozier, and Chris Paul found Trevor Ariza for a game-tying trey. It may be close once again, but the Rockets will be too good at home and will escape from the clutches of the Celtics in the final half of the last quarter.

Irving, too, is thriving in a new environment, having led his Celtics to a virtually guaranteed top two finish in the east.

A big factor in the Celtics' offensive surge has been their ability to shoot the ball well from the floor and from 3-point range. He made both to put the Rockets up by four 119-115. Boston's bench scored a season-high 67 points on 56.8 percent shooting, including an impressive 8-for-12 mark on 3-point shots.

Kyrie Irving raced down court and made a quick layup to pull back with two but with only 7.9 seconds to play. Harden made a free throw on the technical and Nene added a basket soon after that to put Houston up 84-81.

Everyone Is Talking About What Ronaldo Did With Benzema
Barcelona leads second-place Atletico Madrid by 10 points before the latter faces a tough trip to Sevilla on Sunday. Real Madrid have scored at least 3 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches in the Spanish top flight.

This will be an entertaining game and will go well past the 99-98 total we saw when the sides last met.

He immediately zipped the ball to a wide-open Ariza and he drained a three-pointer to tie the game in dramatic fashion with just 1:33 on the clock. He essentially boxed out, tracked the pass like Rob Gronkowski, and launched a twisting 3-pointer while falling into the Celtics bench. Ariza scored five straight points as the Celtics committed three turnovers over a 2:08 stretch, and Horford missed a couple of big shots. Paul George added 21 points. "Those were two good teams playing and both teams deserve a lot of credit for how they played".

Looking at the betting trends, the Celtics are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a win of more than 10 points, 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record and 23-9 ATS in their last 32 road games.

Paul Millsap hit a lead-saving 3-pointer with 2:26 remaining, sending Denver to a victory over host Cleveland.

UP NEXT: The Celtics (44-20) will play the second of a three-game road trip Monday night against the Chicago Bulls (21-41).

ORLANDO, Fla. - 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 in a win that stretched Memphis' losing streak to 13 games.

CJ McCollum scored 28 points and Damian Lillard had 20 as the Portland Trail Blazers won their sixth straight game with a 108-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.


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