LOS ANGELES: James Harden scored 26 points and Eric Gordon scored 29 off the bench as the Houston Rockets stretched their winning streak to a season-high 15 games with a 123-120 win over the Boston Celtics.
Houston’s winning streak ties the second-longest in franchise history which was achieved two times during the Hakeem Olajuwon-era in the 1990s.
“We’re on a wave right now. We’ve got 20 games left we’ve got to take it one at a time and try to have fun with it,” said Harden after Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) victory.
The Rockets best run of success all-time was a 22-game win streak during the 2007-08 NBA season.
It’s their second long winning streak of this season after Houston won 14 in a row beginning in November and stretching into December.
Marcus Morris had 21 points off the bench for the visiting Celtics, who had won four consecutive games since the all-star break.
Houston’s Gordon made one of two free throws to make it 123-120 with 2.3 seconds remaining.
Boston tried to answer but Marcus Smart’s three-point heave bounced off the rim at the buzzer to give Houston the victory.
“He almost made a lucky shot,” Harden said of Smart’s desperate attempt. “That’s a very good team over there. We just wanted to compete at a high level.
“Early on in the game they were hot, they made so many threes. We just had to compete, keep fighting for four quarters and we got a win.”
Harden said the their attention to defence was the difference maker.
“In the first half they were getting a lot of easy looks, they made us scramble defensively. The second half we picked it up a little more,” he said.
Elsewhere, Gary Harris scored 32 points, Will Barton added 23 and the Denver Nuggets did most of their damage behind the three-point line in a 126-117 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.