Houston Rockets Regain Old Form in New Orleans

By Michael Ma

Jan 25, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) shoots over New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first quarter of a game at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets looked like their old self, scoring fast break points, making threes, and cleaning the boards, as they beat the New Orleans Hornets 100-82.  It was just 16 days ago that the Rockets visited the Hornets in the middle of their five game winning streak.  But an 88-79 loss that night started a recent stretch in which the Rockets lost eight of their next nine games.

The Rockets were led once again by James Harden, who had 30 points and 8 assists.  It’s the 22nd consecutive game in which Harden has led the Rockets in scoring, one game shy of tying Moses Malone’s franchise record of being the team’s leading scorer in 23 consecutive games.  Houston also got great contributions from Patrick Patterson, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Jeremy Lin, 13 points, 8 assists, 6 steals, and Carlos Delfino, 14 points, including 4-6 from three.

Eric Gordon led the way for the Hornets with 20 points, while Ryan Anderson scored 19 points off the bench.  New Orleans, who had won seven of their last ten games, have been in the news this week with the announcement that they will change their name from the Hornets to the Pelicans, beginning next season.

While Houston did commit 22 turnovers, 8 by Harden himself, they were able to slow down New Orleans in the second half by holding them to just 17 points in the fourth quarter.  Houston also forced two shot clock violations in the second half, an extremely rare sight for the Rockets so far this season, while holding the Hornets to just 39% shooting.  The Rockets also won the rebounding battle 44-34, while going 11 for 21 (52 percent) from behind the arc, after struggling shooting the three as the team during their losing stretch.

The Rockets will now travel home to face the Brooklyn Nets Saturday Night.

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