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James Harden and Russell Westbrook lead Rockets to win over Celtics

James Harden and Russell Westbrook scored a combined 78 points in the Rockets’ win over the Boston Celtics.

Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets held a five-point advantage over the Boston Celtics when James Harden connected on a floater with 8:27 remaining in the third quarter. The bucket by Harden ignited a run, in which the Rockets’ star guard scored 19 consecutive points.

His incredible scoring in the third was enough to lead the Rockets to a 116-105 victory over the Celtics, Tuesday night, inside the Toyota Center in Houston.

Following a game where he recorded his eighth triple-double on the year, Harden registered his 19th 40-point game of the season with 42 points (9-19 FG, 7-16 3PT), eight rebounds and seven assists on the night.

Russell Westbrook made it a backcourt affair in Houston, as Brodie added in 36 points (13-23 FG), 10 rebounds and five assists in the win.

The Celtics and the Rockets struggled from behind the arc to open the game, as both teams shot a combined 27.3% during the first half. Unlike Houston, the Celtics made some adjustments to their offense to take a 49-47 lead into the halftime break. While connecting only on five made 3-point field goals, Boston shot 48.0% from inside the arc through the first half.

Celtics’ star guard Kemba Walker scored seven of his 14 points during the final three minutes of the second quarter.

While the Rockets went on to outscore the Celtics 69-56 in the second half, Houston’s all-star pairing received some much-needed help from their supporting cast.

While shooting 46% from the floor, Danuel House Jr. scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds. In addition to scoring 12 points, Rockets’ newcomer Robert Covington made his presence known as Houston’s newest defensive anchor with four blocks and three steals in the win.

With Jayson Tatum and Walker struggling on the offensive end, Gordon Hayward led the Celtics with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the loss. Despite playing on two injured ankles, Jaylen Brown added in 19 points in 33 minutes of action.

Following the win, the Rockets ended their two-game losing skid as they head into the All-Star break with a 34-20 record sitting fifth in the Western Conference. With nine days off, the Rockets will return to the court on Thursday, Feb. 20, in a road game against the Golden State Warriors. Tip-off is slated for 9:30 p.m. CT.