Brooks launches Rockets again

Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks was in the right place for his first start since returning from an ankle injury. After coming off the bench for eight games, Brooks netted 24 points in a 108-102 road win over the Boston Celtics, which snapped the Rockets five-game losing streak.

Aaron Brooks

BrooksIt was the third straight win for Houston in Boston and in all three games, Brooks had a big performance.

On January 7, 2009, Brooks scored 19 points in 37 minutes off the bench in an 89-85 win over the Celtics. On April 2, 2010, he scored 30 points and had nine assists in a 119-114 overtime win in Boston. Brooks was clutch that night, hitting a game-tying three-pointer with nine seconds remaining.

Brooks was good in this one too -- 8-for-15 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range. He had been 5-for-24 from behind the arc in his previous six games. Brooks entered the game shooting 36 percent on the road this season. But Boston felt just like home to him.

The Celtics, by the way, are now 12-0 at home against Eastern Conference teams, 4-3 at home against the Western Conference.

Dominating Detroit
Bulls Last 10 Games vs Pistons

Elsewhere, Derrick Rose’s 29 points gave him six straight games with at least 20 points against the Detroit Pistons, whom the Chicago Bulls beat, 95-82 -- their 10th straight win against Detroit. A check with the Elias Sports Bureau shows that the last Bulls player with six straight 20-point games vs Detroit was Michael Jordan, who had a seven-game streak from February 1992 to April 1995.

Two players from these games provided an illuminating contrast in plus-minus. Chicago center Kurt Thomas played 30 minutes in the Bulls’ win over the Pistons, not scoring a point. But the Bulls outscored the Pistons by 24 points with Thomas on the floor. This was a contrast to recent efforts by Thomas, who recorded a negative plus-minus rating in each of his previous four games.

In Boston, Marquis Daniels gave the Celtics a lift off the bench with 19 points (on 7-for-8 shooting) in just 24 minutes. But the Celtics outscored the Rockets by only one point with him in the game. Meanwhile, Rockets forward Jared Jeffries didn’t score in his 12 minutes, but the Rockets had a 15-point edge on the Celtics during his minutes.