New Straits Times

Gritty Rockets beat Celtics


HOUSTON: Trevor Ariza nailed the game-tying 3-pointer and later added a go-ahead layup as the Houston Rockets rallied for a 123-120 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Saturday at Toyota Center.

Shredded by the Celtics’ sublime offensive execution throughout, the Rockets arrived defensivel­y at an opportune time.

PJ Tucker set up the Ariza 3pointer with a steal off Terry Rozier before Ariza pilfered Kyrie Irving and dashed for a layup with 1:16 left for a 117-115 lead.

Houston extended its winning streak to 15 games and gained a measure of revenge against the Celtics, who rallied from a 26point deficit for a 99-98 win in Boston on Dec 28.

The Celtics had their fourgame winning streak snapped despite an impressive performanc­e from their bench.

Marcus Morris scored 21 points, including 11 during a blistering two-plus-minute stretch in the fourth as Boston seized a 108102 lead.

Greg Monroe added 18 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes while Rozier scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Boston recorded 67 bench points.

Irving finished with 18 points and six assists.

Eric Gordon scored 29 points off the Houston bench, making 7 of 11 from behind the 3-point arc. James Harden added 26 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists while Ariza scored 21 points. Clint Capela grabbed 17 boards.

RESULTS — Orlando 107 Memphis 100, Denver 126 Cleveland 117, Miami 105 Detroit 96, Houston 123 Boston 120, LA Lakers 116 San Antonio 112, Portland 108 Oklahoma City 100, Utah 98 Sacramento 91.

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