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Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics
NBA: Saturday, February 29, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 8:30 PM ET
The Houston Rockets responded to a two-game skid with five straight wins, covering the spread in four in the process. The Rockets beat the 11-point underdogs Memphis Grizzlies in the most recent game and improved to a 38-20 record and are in the 4th place in the Western Conference.
The Boston Celtics are back home from a four-game road trip on which they recorded three wins, covering the spread in all four. After the latest victory over the 5-point favorites Utah Jazz, the Celtics improved to a 41-17 record and are in the 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
These inter-conference rivals met a few weeks ago, and the Rockets secured a 116-105 win, covering the -2.5 spread.
The Rockets dismantled the Grizzlies at homeHouston didn't have problems against the Memphis Grizzlies at home and scored even 140 points in a massive 140-112 victory. The Rockets shot nearly 56% from the floor and made 23 triples opposite Memphis' 13. Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 33 points, team-high nine rebounds, team-high eight assists, and game-high four steals. James Harden followed him with 33 points and seven boards, Austin Rivers scored 23, while Ben McLemore, Jeff Green, and P.J. Tucker contributed with 11 points apiece. Eric Gordon (right knee contusion) is questionable to face the Celtics on Saturday.
Beard and Brodie combine for 63pts in the win! pic.twitter.com/6fcEyRQd1T— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 27, 2020
"It was just very good activity getting in lanes," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Our defense, rebounding, boxing out, everything in that first half was just really good."
This season, the Rockets have the 2nd offense in the NBA that averages 118.9 points per game, and they are facing the Celtics' 3rd defense that allows 106.5 points per contest. The Rockets are the 15th in rebounds with 45.2 and 29th in assists with 21.5 per game.
The Celtics surprised the Jazz on the roadBoston was a 5-point underdog against the Utah Jazz on the road but managed to upset the odds and secure a 114-103 win. The Celtics limited the hosts to just 15 points in the opening quarter, and although the Jazz quickly bounced back, the visitors created a double-digit gap in the final 12 minutes and sealed the victory. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with a double-double of 33 points and game-high 11 rebounds. Jaylen Brown had 20 points and six boards, Marcus Smart added 17 points, game-high nine assists, and game-high three steals, Daniel Theis chipped in with 16 points and seven boards, while Gordon Hayward finished the tilt with 12 points and five rebounds. Danny Ainge said he's confident Kemba Walker's left knee is fine, and he expects him to return to the court at some point in the near future.
"It was fun to watch," Marcus Smart said. "It was fun to be a part of. It's always good when you have guys going as hard as those guys were going tonight."
This season, the Celtics have the 8th offense in the NBA that averages 113.4 points per game, and they are facing the Rockets' 21st defense that allows 114.1 points per contest. The Celtics are the 9th in rebounds with 45.9 and 24th in assists with 23.1 per game.
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs. the Western Conference opponents
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston is one of the best home teams in the NBA; the Celtics are actually the 4th best team in that category. The Rockets, on the other hand, are in a hot and cold away from lately as they won five of the last ten games. The fact is that the Rockets started to play better after Clint Capela's trade to Atlanta, and it looks that this fast-paced basketball suits them perfectly. However, Boston is known for its strong home defense, and I believe Brad Stevens has a proper solution for Harden and Westbrook. Even without Kemba Walker, the C's are capable of defeating any team in the league. This will be a massive test for the Celtics, and I am backing them to pass it. Boston is seeking revenge for a loss earlier this season.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -1.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Celtics know they cannot cope with the Rockets offensively as the visitors are playing faster basketball and have two scoring machines – Harden and Westbrook. That's why Stevens' tactics for this encounter will be an extremely tight defense on both guards, and I am backing the hosts to limit the Rockets. There will be a lot of shots from downtown, especially from Houston, and if the C's defend the perimeter well, the win will be theirs. It's not going to be easy to keep such an offensive fore at bay, but if someone can, it's the Celtics. I am going with Under in this one.
Prediction: Under 230.5 (-110)