BOSTON MA - JANUARY 10: Aaron Brooks #0 of the Houston Rockets celebrates his three point shot in the second half against the Boston Celtics on January 10 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. The Rockets defeated the Celtics 108-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NBA Scores And More: Aaron Brooks Leads Rockets In Improbable Win Over Celtics

The Rockets end a bad losing streak with an improbable win over the Celtics. In other action, the Bobcats lay claim to the East's No. 8 spot and Derrick Rose lays claim to the New World.

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Celtics Vs. Rockets: Aaron Brooks Shoots Houston To Victory Over Flagging Boston

Aaron Brooks scored 24 points as the Houston Rockets earned a surprising road victory over the East-leading Boston Celtics 108-102 on Monday night. Brooks almost didn't play due to a sprained ankle. But injuries to other Rockets including top scorer Kevin Martin pushed Brooks into the line-up, where he shredded the vaunted Boston defense.

Brooks hit five of eight tries from beyond the arc as the Rockets as a whole shot 53.7 percent on two-pointers, 50 percent on three-pointers and hit 20-26 from the line. In a dual point guard starting five with Kyle Lowry, Brooks also offered up five assists. Lowry scored 17 points (in part thanks to eight free throws) and added eight assists.

Even in defeat, the Celtics can usually rely on staunch defense. But that part of the game abandoned Boston early, as the Rockets hung 27 on the board in the first quarter. Lowry scored nine points in that opening period, and Houston took a 27-22 lead into intermission. The game remained close until the fourth quarter, where the Rockets opened up and held a 10-point lead for long stretches.

The Celtics saw a bad shooting night from Glen Davis (6-14), who continued to start in place of Kevin Garnett. The Big Ticket is expected back soon, and Boston clearly needs him. The Celtics are now 4-3 since KG was injured in a game against the Pistons two weeks ago. Boston now has the same number of losses as the rival Miami Heat, who with the Celtics' loss move into the East's No. 1 seed.

Houston snapped a five-game losing streak with the win. Martin injured his wrist in Saturday's loss to the Utah Jazz; it's not yet clear whether the guard will miss many more games. Brad Miller and Chuck Hayes also missed the game for the Rockets.

CelticsBlog notes that Doc Rivers called out his starters for playing without effort. Check The Dream Shake for Rockets analysis.


Bulls Vs. Pistons: Derrick Rose Hammers Detroit In Chicago Win

The Chicago Bulls earned their third win of the season over the Detroit Pistons with a 95-82 victory Monday night. Chicago's defense continued to stun as Detroit was held to 38.8 percent shooting. The Bulls' offense wasn't great shakes either, but two reliable sources of scoring -- Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer -- tallied up 29 and 27 points, respectively.

Rose had the play of the night, an impossible alley-oop finish with hangtime Shane Lechler would be proud of. Ronnie Brewer sent the ball up the escalator to a waiting Rose, and the point guard shoved it into the elevator.

Point guards aren't supposed to finish like this, but Rose (and co-humans like Russell Westbrook and John Wall) can. The athletic exclamation in Rose's finishing moves are something to behold; that the Bulls are excellent under Tom Thibodeau and figure to make a serious playoff run this year ... and next year ... and hopefully for years to come -- I can't wait to see plenty more plays like this in big games. (Bulls-Celtics 2009, never forget.)

Rip Hamilton, involved in those big Carmelo Anthony trade talks, played 21 minutes off the bench. He went 0-5.


Bobcats Vs. Grizzlies: Stephen Jackson Dominates In Charlotte Win

The Charlotte Bobcats got a full effort from Stephen Jackson in a solid home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Jackson scored 27 points and added six rebounds, four assists and four steals as Charlotte won its third straight game. The Bobcats have gone 5-2 since Paul Silas took over from Larry Brown as coach. Charlotte is now tied with the 76ers for the No. 8 seed in the East.

The Grizzlies had crummy efforts from their best players. Top scorers Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph combined to shoot 12-33, and O.J. Mayo was an awful 1-8 off the bench. Memphis shot just 39 percent from the floor. The Grizzlies are in striking range of the playoffs in the West, especially with the Nuggets potentially dropping out of contention with a midseason rebuild. But efforts like this won't help Memphis get back to the postseason.

Tyrus Thomas (he's on the Bobcats) had four blocks in 17 minutes. He is blocking 6.4 percent of opponent attempts whilst in the game the season, the third best mark in the league.

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