Sunday’s game between the Rockets and the Celtics, which Houston won 115-104 in Boston, showed where these two title contenders from a year ago, who each lost in the conference finals, are right now. Houston has been one of the best teams in the NBA and has won five straight games, improving its record to 38-25, just one game back of the No. 3 seed in the West. Boston, meanwhile, is still searching for chemistry between Kyrie Irving and the team’s younger players such as Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. The Celtics have lost five of six since the All-Star break.

 

Another team that’s getting hot at the right time is the Jazz, which is 10-4 in its past 14 games, a stretch that includes two wins over the Wolves. Utah was struggling earlier in the season and was on the fringes of the playoff standings. But now the Jazz is in the mix for a top-four seed and has the easiest remaining schedule, according to ESPN. Second-year player Donovan Mitchell is averaging 20 shot attempts per game, fourth in the NBA.

 

The Warriors and Spurs are proving that the midrange game isn’t quite dead yet. The Spurs lead the league in midrange attempts per game with 24.9, according to NBA.com, while the Warriors are second at 20.2 attempts per game. The Warriors hit on the highest percentage of those shots at .474. The Wolves are sixth in attempts at 17.1 per game and hit 38.6 percent of those shots.