BOSTON (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 32 points and 10 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat Boston 104-92 on Monday night to send the skidding Celtics to their ninth consecutive defeat.
Rockets 104, C's 92
Jeremy Lin added 16 points and nine assists for Houston. James Harden scored 16 and Chandler Parsons added 14 after missing three games with a knee injury. Parsons is having a breakout season, averaging 17.5 points (on 51.7 percent shooting) and 5.4 rebounds.
Avery Bradley had 24 points for the Celtics, on their longest losing streak since dropping a franchise-record 18 straight games in 2007 -- the season before they traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce as the Big Three.
Houston outscored Boston 65-38 in the second and third quarters. Howard had 12 third-quarter points as the Rockets expanded a 52-43 halftime lead to 84-65 by the end of the period.
Jerryd Bayless scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Brandon Bass finished with 14 for Boston, which rallied but got no closer than seven points. The Celtics sent Howard to the foul line 14 times in the fourth quarter, and the big man made six. He was 10 of 18 in all.
Bradley had 14 first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers, as the Celtics opened a 27-19 lead and held the Rockets to 29 percent shooting.
Houston's second unit made some quick inroads against Boston's reserves in the second quarter, led by forwards Omri Casspi (12 points) and Parsons.
NOTES: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there is "nothing concrete" on a return date for rehabbing All-Star guard Rajon Rondo, but allowed that it would be "sooner rather than later." Speculation has ranged from Friday against the Lakers to after the All-Star break.