Jeremy Lin’s Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics: Watch Live TV Stream Online For Free; Preview
Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets face the Boston Celtics on Friday night. (Photo: Facebook / houstonrockets)
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The Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a six-point victory over the Washington Wizards. James Harden returned after missing the previous game with a sprained ankle and led the team with 31 points. Seventeen of those points came in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Chandler Parsons hit two three-pointers in the final three minutes to put the game away.
Lin, meanwhile, had his second straight solid outing, scoring 10 points with six assists and five rebounds. This came just days after he tied a career-high with 38 points in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. More performances like these could help further the guard's candidacy for the 2013 All-Star Game. As we previously reported, Lin is currently in third place among Western Conference guards in the voting.
The Wizards victory was the first time in nine games that the Rockets had allowed fewer than 101 points to an opponent, according to NBA.com. They had also allowed 121.3 points per game during their three-game losing streak.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are in the middle of a two-game winning streak after a double-overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Paul Pierce finished with 34 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer at the start of double overtime. Rajon Rondo, meanwhile, was a rebound shy of a triple double.
Over the past several seasons, Boston has gotten it done with defense. The Celtics finished second in the NBA last year in scoring defense and first in both shooting percentage allowed and defensive rating. However, this year, Boston has struggled somewhat on that side of the ball, allowing opponents to shoot nearly 45 percent from the field.
But, that defense has improved in recent weeks. According to NBA.com, Boston allowed 100.1 points per game over its first 14 contests but gave up 88.7 points per game over its next six matchups. In fact, Boston's double-overtime victory on Wednesday was first time the team had allowed 100 points since November 25.
Boston leads the all-time series with Houston, 86-43. Last season, the Celtics defeated the Rockets in overtime in their only matchup of the season. Pierce led the way with 30 points, as Houston blew a 10-point lead with 5:33 left in regulation.