If anybody could put an end to the Portland Trail Blazers' 13-game win streak, why not have it be the NBA's best team, the Houston Rockets. They did just that on Tuesday night, but it was not easy, as they held off a late rally for a 115-111 win in Portland. James Harden finished with 42 points and hit two big shots late from beyond the arc, where his team finished at 52 percent shooting on the night. Chris Paul added 22 points for the Rockets, who have won six in a row and 23 of their past 24 overall to hold the NBA's best record. They snapped what was tied for the second-longest win streak in Trail Blazers' franchise history, as the team also won 13 in a row in 2007. The Blazers had also won nine in a row on their home floor, but could not pull off another win at the Moda Center, despite Al-Farouq Aminu's 22 points. The Rockets got three-pointers from Harden and Trevor Ariza late to lead by 11 with 1:55 to play. Portland would then go on a 9-0 run to make things interesting with under 30 seconds left. They forced a missed shot by the Rockets in the final seconds, but could not snag the rebound and was forced to intentionally found Paul, who hit both free throws to seal the win for Houston. The NBA's best team will return home on Thursday night to host Blake Griffin's Detroit Pistons. The Blazers look to start a new streak when they host the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Morris, Celtics Edge Thunder Late
The Boston Celtics are proving to be dangerous even without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward, so that has to have them feeling good heading in to the postseason. They pulled off another quality win at home on Tuesday night, as Marcus Morris's late three-pointer gave them a 100-99 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Morris hit the three-pointer with 1.2 seconds on the clock, as the Celtics put an end to the Thunder's six-game win streak. That game-winning shot was set up by Carmelo Anthony's inability to hit free throws that would've sealed the win. Morris finished with 21 points for the Celtics, who were led by Jayson Tatum's 23 points and 11 rebounds. Shane Larkin chipped in with 18 points off the bench for the Celtics, who were without Irving for a fourth straight game due to a knee injury. It was announced earlier in the day that the star point guard would seek a second opinion on the nagging injury. Jaylen Brown also sat out, as he is still in concussion protocol. The Thunder could not take advantage of the shorthanded Celtics, despite Russell Westbrook finishing with 27 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. They will return home on Friday night to play host to the Miami Heat. The Celtics hit the road to battle the Portland Trail Blazers that same night.
Jazz's Streak Ends With Loss to Hawks
The Utah Jazz bounced back quickly from the end of their last win streak and went on yet another one, which came to an end on Tuesday night. The Jazz came up short on their home floor Tuesday, as Dennis Schroder finished with 41 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 99-94 win in Utah. The upset win for the Hawks put an end to the Jazz's nine-game win streak, which immediately followed their separate 11-game win streak. It was the second straight win over the Jazz for Atlanta, who got 17 points in the fourth quarter from Schroder, who set a career high with his point total on Tuesday. His previous career high was 34 points, which was set on January 12th against the Brooklyn Nets, as he became the first Hawk with 40 points since Joe Johnson in 2008. Dewayne Dedmon added 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Taurean Prince hit two free throws late to seal the win, which snapped the Hawks' six-game losing streak. The Jazz have still won 21 of their past 23 games overall in between the two losses to the Hawks. They got 24 points from Donovan Mitchell, 23 from Ricky Rubio, and a double-double of 15 points and 16 rebounds from Rudy Gobert in Tuesday's loss. They still remain two games ahead of the Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and will move on to battle the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. The Hawks stay out west to take on the Sacramento Kings on Friday.