Celtics vs. Rockets rematch - Marcus Smart vs. James Harden

When the Celtics defeated the Rockets 99-to-98 on December 28, 2017, Houston was without both Chris Paul and Clint Capela. They are both supposed to play in the game tonight. Houston's record leads the Western Conference and they are on a 14-game winning streak. It will be a tough match-up for Boston, although they are on a winning streak of their own, going 4-and-0 in their last four games. James Harden can be a handful for any defender, as Wesley Johnson found out:

But Marcus Smart can also be difficult for Harden to deal with, as he found out in the December 28th game:

Smart started for Boston in that game and played 34 minutes. He had 13 points on 6-of-14 from the field, along with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Harden had a very good game with 34 points, six rebounds, 10 assists and two steals, obviously attempting to lessen the effect of the absence of Paul and Capela.

Boston's Offensive Rating has skyrocketed in the last five games, but the Defensive Rating has taken a hit. But the Celtics have won four of those five games. Boston's bench, including Smart, have had a large part in the 4-game winning streak. One streak will be broken tonight. A legitimate test for Marcus and the Celtics.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Matt Stone/Boston Herald
Video via Sports And News