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Rockets Bring Porous Defense To Boston To Face Best Defense In NBA

(Sports Network) - The chances of the Houston Rockets ending their five-game losing streak tonight in Boston are not considered favorable.

Houston is winless in five straight and six of seven games since ripping off a season-high five consecutive wins. It has also lost three in a row as the visitor and owns a 6-14 mark away from the Toyota Center this season. That's where the last setback took place, as the Rockets dropped a 103-99 decision in overtime to the Utah Jazz.

Luis Scola posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Kevin Martin provided 20 points for the Rockets, who were outscored by a 14-10 margin in the extra period and blew a 16-point advantage. Utah used a 14-5 run at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.

"In the second half we just couldn't get anything going offensively," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "They came out and made the plays when they had to."

The Rockets made 3-of-25 from beyond the arc and got 10 points from Shane Battier. They also shot a dismal 38 percent from the floor. Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks missed his third straight game with an ankle sprain and is questionable for Monday's matchup in Beantown.

Houston's five-game slide is the longest since opening the 2010-11 campaign with five consecutive losses.

Boston will begin a six-game homestand Monday versus the Rockets, Kings, Bobcats, Magic, Pistons and Jazz, and is coming off a tough 90-79 loss in Chicago on Saturday night. Bulls star Derrick Rose poured in 36 points to lead the charge and end the Celtics' four-game winning streak.

Paul Pierce scored 21 points, Ray Allen had 19 and Rajon Rondo added 13 with a game-high eight assists for Boston, which got zero points from rookie Luke Harangody one night after he established career highs with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Friday's victory over Toronto.

"We had a lot of one-pass shooting tonight," Pierce told NBA.com. "There's really no explanation. That's really not the way we play. They wanted it more truthfully. They got all the loose balls. They attacked it."

The Celtics have won three in a row at home and sport a commanding 16-2 ledger in Beantown this season. They could get future Hall of Fame power forward Kevin Garnett back in the lineup tonight. Garnett has missed six games with a right leg injury suffered against Detroit on Dec. 29, and is averaging 15.0 points and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds this season.

Boston and Houston have split the last two home-and-home series, with each team holding serve as the visitor. The Celtics have won four of the past six meetings between the teams, while the Rockets are 11-5 in their previous 16 trips to the New England area.

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