Celtics (14-2) 92; Warriors (11-4) 88
If there was any question about whether or not Boston was a legitimate contender, they put every concern to rest in this epic comeback victory in front of their home fans. Erasing a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, Boston won their 14th-straight game after dropping their first two contests of the season. They continue to own the NBA’s best record.
Led by Jaylen Brown (22/7/0), who made a difference on both ends of the floor, all five Celtics starters scored in double-figures. Al Horford (18/11/2) posted a double-double, while Kyrie Irving (16/5/6) dropped 16 despite going just 4-of-16 shooting. Marcus Morris (12/4/1) and Jayson Tatum (12/4/0) both had 12 points in the win. As a whole, Boston struggled shooting the ball, going just 32.9 percent from the floor and 7-of-32 from three-point range. But, they converted 33-of-38 of their free throws, compared to Golden State knocking down just 12-of-19 shots from the charity stripe. Golden State had 24 fouls called on them, compared to just 15 on Boston.
While Kevin Durant (24/3/3) showed up, Stephen Curry (9/6/5) struggled, going 3-of-14 shooting, including 2-for-9 from three in 31 minutes. Curry also was in foul trouble in the second half, picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter which forced Steve Kerr to sit him down. Draymond Green (11/8/5) and Klay Thompson (13/7/3) never got into a groove and combined to shoot just 8-of-29 from the field. The Warriors shot 40.2 percent overall and 10-of-32 from three-point range in the loss.
Rockets (12-4) 142; Suns (5-11) 116
Heading into this game, it was reasonable to assume that the young Suns would struggle to contain the Rockets’ offensive juggernaut. Not only did Houston completely dismantle Phoenix on the offensive end of the floor, but they did so in shocking fashion, scoring 90 first-half points (45 in the first quarter and 45 in the second). The Rockets now own the best record in the Western Conference.
James Harden (48/2/7) was simply unstoppable, going 12-for-22 from the floor, including 6-of-11 from three. He also was a perfect 18-for-18 from the free throw line. Over his past two games, Harden is now 37-for-37 from the charity stripe. Ryan Anderson (24/4/0) went 6-of-10 from three in the dominating victory. Houston went 21-for-44 from three-point range and went 35-of-38 from the free throw line overall.
The Suns were completely overmatched, but they got production from a few unlikely sources, as Greg Monroe (20/11/1) had a double-double and shot 10-of-14 from the floor in his team debut while Troy Daniels (23/3/1) knocked down 7-of-13 threes off the bench. Starter Devin Booker (18/2/10) had a double-double with points and assists. Phoenix went just 12-of-21 from the free throw line, but surprisingly had more assists (28) than the Rockets (27) in the blowout loss.