Cincinnati.com
National Basketball Association
Houston 123, Boston 120
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 3, 2018
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Officials: #21 Dedric Taylor, #6 Tony Brown, #14 Ed Malloy
Attendance: 18476
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. P.J. Tucker set up the Ariza 3-pointer 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 26-point deficit for a 99-98 win in Boston on Dec. 28.

The Celtics had their four-game 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 108-102 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.

The Celtics shot 48.4 percent overall and finished 13 for 24 on 3-point tries, including a desperation heave from Marcus Smart that just missed at the buzzer.

One torrid stretch from the perimeter gave the Rockets the notion that their offense could offset their defense. Houston strung together three successive 3-pointers to claim a 17-13 lead before Luc Mbah a Moute added a corner trey and a baseline drive to up the advantage to 30-22.

But then the Celtics' reserves made their presence felt, sparking a 10-0 run that closed the opening period. Boston carried that momentum into the second, scoring with ease while building its lead to 47-38 on a Monroe hook shot with 8:29 remaining in the half. The Celtics' 25-8 surge was highlighted by a series of open perimeter looks, and when the break arrived, Boston went to the locker room having shot 53.5 percent overall and 8 of 13 from 3-point range.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Boston   Houston
Marcus Morris 21 Scoring Eric Gordon 29
Kyrie Irving 6 Assists James Harden 10
Al Horford 6 Rebounds Clint Capela 17
Greg Monroe 6 Free Throws Made James Harden 11
Marcus Morris 3 Steals James Harden 5
Greg Monroe 2 Blocks Luc Mbah a Moute 2
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Boston 120 48.4 13-24 19-21 22 38 3 6 13
Houston 123 44.8 19-49 26-30 24 40 5 11 11
Upcoming Games
  • Houston will play their next game on the road against Oklahoma City. The Rockets have a W/L % of .854 after a win and .571 after a loss.
  • Boston will play their next game on the road against Chicago. The Celtics have a W/L % of .711 after a win and .632 after a loss.