HOUSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 24 points and Jayson Tatum added 23 as the Boston Celtics coasted to a 134-107 win over the struggling Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
“It was a good win for us,” Brown said. “Everybody is back healthy now. So that was a good confidence booster for us.”
It’s the 16th straight loss for Houston, which was playing without John Wall and several others because of injuries. The losing streak is the second-longest in franchise history behind a 17-game skid in 1968.
It’s the fifth win in six games for the Celtics, who overwhelmed a team playing with only one of its regular starters in Victor Oladipo. He led Houston with 26 points on a night the Rockets made 16 of 50 3-pointers.
“Early in the game we had good flow and pace… and then the second and third quarters that kind of stopped,” coach Stephen Silas said. “So yeah, we’ve got to do better.”
The Rockets, who haven’t won since Feb. 4, have lost seven straight home games for the first time since 2006.
Boston was only up by four after one period, but pulled away by halftime. The Celtics had a 13-point lead early in the third quarter before using an 11-2 run, with nine points by Kemba Walker, to make it 79-57 with about 10 minutes left in the period.
“The game rewards you if you approach it the right way, and he does that for us,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
A 12-3 spurt later in the third left the Celtics up 104-72 entering the fourth. Tatum stood out in that stretch, starting the run with a step-back shot before getting a steal and finishing on the other end with a nifty behind-the-back move. He wrapped up the scoring in that quarter with a 35-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“I didn’t think we were great early,” Stevens said. “They’re harder to play big, so we obviously went small the next 42 minutes.”
Brown and Tatum didn’t play after that and Boston Stevens cleared his bench with about nine minutes remaining and his team up 112-80.
Brown bounced back after making just 5 of 23 shots in Boston’s loss to Brooklyn on Thursday night.
“My team needs me to make shots,” he said. “Last game, I had great looks, they just didn’t go down. They went down today.”
Celtics: Robert Williams III had 16 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. … Walker finished with 16 points, five assists and six rebounds. … Tristan Thompson had 13 rebounds.
Rockets: Danuel House missed his fourth straight game with a bruised right knee. … Eric Gordon sat out for the second game in a row with a strained groin. … Wall missed a third straight game with a bruised left knee. … Rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. had a season-high 21 points.
Celtics: Host Utah on Tuesday night.
Rockets: Play the second of seven straight home games on Tuesday night when they host the Hawks.