The Houston Rockets are the hottest team in the NBA right now (depending on who you ask). They’ve won 15 straight, and in the process, James Harden has all but solidified his MVP candidacy. But each win gets more difficult than the last, especially this time of year when teams across both conferences are fighting for precious playoff positioning.
So, unsurprisingly, it was a dogfight on Saturday night against the visiting Celtics, who nearly ended their streak before a late Rockets run that sealed the 123-120 victory.
After the game, Marcus Smart, who had the unenviable task of guarding Harden for much of the game, talked about the difficulty of guarding a player who is both highly-adept at drawing fouls and, in Smart’s mind, the beneficiary of favorable calls by officiating crews who reward him for his superstar status.