HOUSTON (AP) — Terrence Jones scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to their third straight victory, 109-85 over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
Jones was 10 of 12 from the field as the Rockets shot 57 percent as a team, including 72 percent in the first half in building a 24-point halftime lead.
Patrick Beverley chipped in 16 points, James Harden added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Dwight Howard had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons each had 11 points as the Rockets raced out to a 17-point, first-quarter lead and were never threatened.
Courtney Lee had 17 points, Avery Bradley added 11 and Jared Sullinger had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Boston, which lost its fourth in a row.
The Celtics shot 32 percent.
The Rockets jumped out to an 18-1 lead in the first 5 minutes, capped by a follow dunk by Jones, who had six in the game-opening run. Beverley had five points in the stretch for Houston.
Boston got its first point of the game on Jordan Crawford’s free throw 45 seconds in after a Houston defensive 3-second call, but the Celtics missed their first nine shots and had three turnovers before Bradley hit a jumper with 6:46 left in the first to cut the lead to 18-3.
Boston, which shot 24 percent in the first quarter, cut the lead to 28-18 on Sullinger’s layup with 2:28 left in the period. However, Houston, which shot 80 percent in the first quarter, responded by ending the quarter on a 12-0 run capped by Omri Casspi’s 3-pointer to lead 40-18 after one.
Houston pushed the lead to 43-18 on a 3-pointer by Beverley a minute into the second quarter and Boston never got the lead below 18 the rest of the way.
The Rockets led 68-44 at the half and stretched the lead to 35 at 88-53 on Howard’s follow shot with 4 minutes to go in the third.
NOTES: Houston C Omer Asik, who has been the subject of trade rumors, played Tuesday after missing the last two games. ‘‘I was just frustrated,’’ Asik said at Tuesday morning’s shootaround about missing the previous two games. ‘‘It is behind me now. I'm looking forward to help my team win.’’ Asik would not discuss reports that he asked to be traded. . . Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny on ‘‘Modern Family,’’ was in attendance at Tuesday’s game. . . High school senior Carly Wright, who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, was granted a wish by the Rockets and the Make-A-Wish program as she attended shootaround and the game and met the team, including her favorite player, Parsons.