National Basketball Association
Preview
Boston at Houston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Following a very impressive road trip to start the season, the Houston Rockets look to continue their hot opening at home when they take on the Boston Celtics on Saturday. The Rockets became the first team in the NBA with two victories, dispatching the Los Angeles Lakers in a primetime affair on opening night before posting a 104-93 win at Utah on Wednesday. Dwight Howard has produced a pair of double-doubles after recording 47 last season, good for fourth in the league.

The Rockets were 33-8 at home, 23-7 against Eastern Conference opponents and 2-0 versus the Celtics in 2013-14, when the teams were on opposite ends of the spectrum. That may be the case once again this season, but Boston looked very solid in a season-opening 121-105 victory over Brooklyn at home on Wednesday. Rajon Rondo fell three rebounds shy of a triple-double as the Celtics shot 55.7 percent from the floor in their best offensive showing since Jan. 7, 2011.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), CSN Houston

ABOUT THE CELTICS (1-0): The numbers on offense were absolutely stellar for Boston in its opener, but the continued emphasis on defense has paid early dividends. The Celtics forced 21 turnovers while recording 11 steals, nearly four more than their average last season. With Rondo back in the fold after playing just 30 games in 2013-14 and rookie Marcus Smart (four steals in 28 minutes) hounding opposing ball handlers, thievery may become a calling card for Boston, which held Brooklyn to just 41 points in the first half before cruising down the stretch.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (2-0): After hitting an NBA-high 779 3-pointers last season, Houston is picking up where it left off, seizing the early league lead in makes (26) and attempts (56) entering Friday's action. The never-shy and often-streaky Trevor Ariza, who joined the Rockets in the three-team trade that sent center Omer Asik to New Orleans in July, will keep Houston among the most trigger-happy bunches in the league. Ariza, who was 15th in the league with 442 attempts while hitting at a 40.7 percent clip last season with Washington, is 9-for-15 from long range so far.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Celtics C Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points against Brooklyn and is averaging 24 points over his last four regular-season games.

2. Houston opponents have shot 41.3 percent from the floor and 21.4 percent from 3-point distance.

3. Rockets F Terrence Jones established a career high at the time of 24 points in a win over Boston last Nov. 19.

PREDICTION: Rockets 109, Celtics 99
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Boston 1-0 W4 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
Houston 2-0 W4 0-0 2-0 0-0 2-0 0-0 2-0
Last Meeting
Boston Houston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/13/14 HOU 104 BOS 92 92 50 37.6 104 46 46.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston A. Bradley 24 52.4 0
Houston D. Howard 32 64.7 10
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston J. Sullinger 10 6 4
Houston T. Jones 12 5 7
Assists Player  
Boston J. Crawford 5
Houston J. Lin 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston J. Sullinger 132 52.5 12
Houston J. Harden 156 40.4 53
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston J. Sullinger 91 17 74
Houston T. Jones 65 22 43
Assists Player  
Boston E. Turner 40
Houston J. Harden 35
Quickchart Matchup
Boston Off vs  Houston Defense
121.0 Points For
91.5 Points Against
55.7 FG%
41.3 FG%
35.0 Reb
35.0 Reb
Houston Off vs  Boston Defense
106.0 Points For
105.0 Points Against
47.3 FG%
48.8 FG%
35.0 Reb
39.0 Reb