Rockets Bombard Hornets for a Win, 104-92
The New Orleans Hornets trailed the Houston Rockets for most of the game last night, and were unable to capitalize on a 4th quarter comeback, losing in Houston 104-92.
Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vasquez, who together put up a meager 4 of 17 shooting effort through the first three quarters, led the Hornets surge in the final quarter. They combined for a total of 19 points in the 4th, shooting 61.5%, as they tried to overtake the Rockets. They managed to tie it up, but Houston went on a 12-4 scoring run in the final moments to regain and keep the lead.
“A number of things hurt us; I thought we had some empty possessions when the game was tied,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams after the game. “Every time we made a mistake Houston was at the rim. I thought they played in our paint all night long. We got the game where we wanted it on the road, but we just couldn’t capitalize with some solid possessions on offense and some stops on defense.”
Houston’s starting guard James Harden led his team with 31 points and 7 assists. He was supported by center Omar Asik, who contributed 21 points and 8 rebounds. Both Harden and Asik found their success in the paint, where the Rockets scored 60 of their points. Harden, the league’s fifth-top scorer, with an average of 26.3 points per game, was able to drive deep into the Hornets’ defense, sometimes uncontested, for his points. Asik, who’s 7’0”, scored his points under the rim by exploiting mismatches anytime he was paired with a smaller New Orleans player.
Hornets’ guard Eric Gordon did not play tonight, he was resting his knee during the game, which was the second contest of a back-to-back home/away duo. Gordon’s need for rest and conditioning showed in the Bees’ previous game against the Atlanta Hawks — he ran out of gas in the last half, shooting 2-10 and committing 3 turnovers.
The Hornets were lackluster from the free-throw line for the second game in a row, making only 11-20.
New Orleans (7-25) now heads to Dallas for Saturday’s contest against the Mavericks (13-20).