Highlights: Celtics shake off Rockets
The Rockets seemed like they were battling back all throughout the game, and they made a fourth-quarter run, but they could not get over the hump as they lost 103-91 to Boston. James Harden led the way with 24 points, but his string of 25-plus-point games ends at a franchise-record 14 games. Chandler Parsons also had 18 points. Poor free throw shooting (12-29 from the line) stood out in this one.
The Rockets made a 12-0 run to cut the lead to 83-81 with about seven minutes left.The Celtics responded with a run of their own, scoring 15 of the next 18 points to take a commanding 98-84 lead they would not relinquish.
FROM THE FIELD
The Rockets were 35-80 from the field for 43.8 percent. They only made nine of their 33 three-point attempts (27.3 percent).
AT THE LINE
This was a bugaboo for the Rockets. They were only 12-29 from the line for 41.4 percent. In other words, the Rockets were worse with their "free" throws than they were from the field. Omer Asik was the main violator of this category, going 1-8 from the not-so-charitable stripe.
Marcus Morris had a nice dunk in the second quarter. Omer Asik had a two-handed jam in the third. Chandler Parsons had a fastbreak slam that got the Rockets to within 83-81. Greg Smith also had a dunk, but by then, the game was all but decided.
The Rockets will play their fourth game in five nights when they head to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Saturday evening. The Sixers are reeling, having lost five straight. They're currently on the outside looking in for the Eastern Conference playoff picture, sitting in the nine slot.