NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 11th
(All times Eastern)
Houston Rockets (21-15) at Boston Celtics (18-17), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of hot teams meet Friday night when the Boston
Celtics welcome an old friend back to town, although he's guiding the Houston
Kevin McHale, a Hall of Famer who played his entire career with the Boston
Celtics and had his number 32 retired, is back as the head coach of the
Rockets, winners in five of their last six.
When the Celtics fell to the Rockets on Dec. 14, it was shortly after McHale
returned to the bench following the death of his daughter Sasha. After the
game, Kevin Garnett came over to McHale, the man who drafted him when he ran
the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the two shared an emotional embrace.
It should be a little more business-like on Friday.
The Celtics have won four straight, including an 87-79 victory Wednesday night
at home over the Phoenix Suns. That started a five-game homestand for the
The starters struggled against the Suns with only Garnett in double-digits.
Jared Sullinger and Jason Terry netted double figures off the bench and so did
It was a special day for Green as Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of
his open-heart surgery.
"I can't put it into words. I mean, it's a wonderful day. I had a good game,
I'm just glad to be here," he said.
The Rockets' five-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at the New Orleans
Hornets in the first of a three-game road trip which ends on Saturday against
the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets are the NBA's leading scoring team at 106 ppg. They were held a
whopping 27 points under their average by a Hornets team, which is 12th in
Houston committed 23 turnovers and allowed 16 offensive rebounds.
"Anytime a team gets that many offensive rebounds it's hard to run. Then you
have all those turnovers we had - they had 39 of their 88 points off of
offensive rebounds or turnovers," said McHale. "We were just not sharp
tonight. We didn't make the extra pass, defensively we didn't do what we had
James Harden was the only Rockets player in double figures with 25 points.
The Rockets have won five of their last seven against the Celtics and have
taken three of their last four visits to Beantown.
01/11 10:31:03 ET