Celtics Bench Steps Up Vs. Rockets; Is Second Unit Becoming A Strength?

Boston Celtics vs Houston Rockets: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/3/18

The Boston Celtics have been in decent form lately as they were able to reel off four straight wins before falling to the red-hot Rockets in a 123-120 road loss on Saturday. Kevin Durant is also having a great season with 26.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Ricky Rubio added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Derrick Favors scored 15 to lead Utah to its fifth consecutive win in Sacramento. The first meeting, in Boston, saw the Rockets collapse at the end of a game they had control over. The shooting troubles were the only negative on a night where outside of Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies didn't seem all that interested in competing.

In San Antonio, Lonzo Ball hit a career-best six 3-pointers, Julius Randle had 25 points and Los Angeles rallied in the final two minutes to beat the Spurs.

Three of the teams top four scorers in this one came off the bench, and the fourth was the most important defensive player in the game. Morris scored 21 points, including five of seven from three.

The bench needs to prove that they can maintain this, but we are finally at a point where things are going to settle.

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Furthermore, if the Rockets can remain undefeated through March 18 of this year, their winning streak will be at 23 games, breaking the franchise record exactly a decade later. Eric Gordon led the way with 29 points with seven made 3-pointers.

Paul, who sat out with an injury in the last matchup with the Celtics, added 15 points and Ariza had 21.

Houston played that night without starters Chris Paul and Clint Capela and reserve swingman Luc Mbah a Moute.

Anthony Davis is playing really good this season and his game stats are absurd, he has put up 53 points and 18 rebounds against Phoenix Suns, 45 points, 17 rebounds, five steals and five blocks game against the Miami Heat, 42 points and 15 rebounds against Los Angeles Lakers, and that are just some of his wonderful performances. The Rockets are second in the league in steals and that tenacious, switching defense in the fourth quarter was too much for Boston. The Rockets answered with a P.J. Tucker three-pointer and Harden layup, before Al Horford's short hook put Boston ahead 115-112. They spent most of the last few seasons in the bottom third of the league in turnovers thanks, in part, to their frenetic style of play on offense. Irving tried to miss his second attempt with five seconds left, but the ball went in off the bank.

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But their winning streak since the All-Star break was snapped at four games when Marcus Smart's three-point heave bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

"(Being) right there isn't good enough", Celtics guard Kyrie Irving told reporters after a 123-120 loss to Rockets, according to The Boston Globe.

The Celtics (44-19) continue to hang their hat on defense, but their offense since the season resumed has been outstanding. 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.

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