Howard has 32 and 10, Rockets top Celtics 104-92
- Associated Press
- January 13, 2014 - 10:15 PM
BOSTON — Dwight Howard had 32 points and 10 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat Boston 104-92 on Monday night to send the skidding Celtics to their ninth consecutive defeat.
Jeremy Lin added 16 points and nine assists for Houston. James Harden scored 16 and Chandler Parsons added 14 after missing three games with a knee injury. Parsons is having a breakout season, averaging 17.5 points (on 51.7 percent shooting) and 5.4 rebounds.
Avery Bradley had 24 points for the Celtics, on their longest losing streak since dropping a franchise-record 18 straight games in 2007 — the season before they traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce as the Big Three.
Houston outscored Boston 65-38 in the second and third quarters. Howard had 12 third-quarter points as the Rockets expanded a 52-43 halftime lead to 84-65 by the end of the period.
Jerryd Bayless scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Brandon Bass finished with 14 for Boston, which rallied but got no closer than seven points. The Celtics sent Howard to the foul line 14 times in the fourth quarter, and the big man made six. He was 10 of 18 in all.
Bradley had 14 first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers, as the Celtics opened a 27-19 lead and held the Rockets to 29 percent shooting.
Houston's second unit made some quick inroads against Boston's reserves in the second quarter, led by forwards Omri Casspi (12 points) and Parsons. The Rockets' starters re-entered with the score tied at 35 and took off on a 17-8 run to build a 52-43 halftime lead.
Jordan Crawford had 13 points for Boston.
NOTES: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there is "nothing concrete" on a return date for rehabbing All-Star guard Rajon Rondo, but allowed that it would be "sooner rather than later." Speculation has ranged from Friday against the Lakers to after the All-Star break. . The Rockets welcomed Parsons back but are still missing center Omer Asik (bruised thigh) and guard Patrick Beverley (broken hand). . The Rockets lost their two previous visits to Boston. . Bass was scratched from the starting lineup in favor of Jared Sullinger.
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