The Celtics return home, losers of eight in a row and nine of 10, to face the improving Rockets, who come to Boston with one of the most prolific lineups in the NBA. James Harden is a lock All-Star along with a healthy Dwight Howard as well as former Harvard standout Jeremy Lin and most-improved candidate Terrence Jones. The Celtics will be hard-pressed to get a victory tonight but played well in the final three games of their West Coast road trip, losing by a combined 16 points.
BOSTON CELTICS (13-25)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kris Humphries
Inactives: Rajon Rondo
HOUSTON ROCKETS (24-14)
PG Jeremy Lin
SG James Harden
SF Chandler Parsons
PF Terrence Jones
C Dwight Howard
Inactives: Robert Covington, Patrick Beverley
Officials: Joe Crawford, Nick Buchert, Brian Forte
TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., CSNNE, WBZ-FM (98.5)
• Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Jared Sullinger will return to the starting lineup over Brandon Bass, meaning Kris Humphries will remain a starter. Bass took a combined 11 shots in the final two games of the road trip. Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on the final two games of the road trip.
• Stevens said Rajon Rondo will return “sooner rather than later,” meaning he could be back within the week and could potentially make his season debut Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rondo has not played since Jan. 25, 2013 because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
• The Rockets welcome back Chandler Parsons, who missed the past three games with a sore right knee. Parsons participated in the Rockets’ morning workout and declared himself ready to play.
• The Celtics practice Tuesday before hosting Toronto on Wednesday and the Lakers on Friday.