The Boston Celtics have made significant strides defensively. They'll need that improvement to continue as they begin a stretch of three straight games on the road - the first two coming against a pair of the NBA's top offensive teams.
The Celtics go for their third consecutive win and fourth in five games when they face the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
Boston (12-9) will take on a Rockets squad that's averaging 104.2 points before squaring off with a San Antonio club that's scoring 105.5 the next night. The Celtics, though, appear better equipped to handle those challenges than they were a few weeks ago.
Boston allowed an average of 100.1 points through the first 14 games, giving up 100-plus seven times in regulation. It then gave up 88.7 over the next six contests without allowing 100 points before a 117-115 double-overtime victory over Dallas on Wednesday.
The Mavericks shot 51.1 percent, but the Celtics managed to force 28 turnovers - their most since forcing 29 against ...