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Rockets Build and Hold Lead to Beat Hornets

Feb 9, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Houston Rockets forward center Montrezl Harrell (5) passes the ball as he is defended by Charlotte Hornets forward center Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half of the game at the Spectrum Center. Rockets win 107-95. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Houston Rockets forward center Montrezl Harrell (5) passes the ball as he is defended by Charlotte Hornets forward center Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half of the game at the Spectrum Center. Rockets win 107-95. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Rockets, for what seems like the first time in a while, beat a team soundly with little drama.

It took a while for the Houston Rockets to build a solid lead, trailing by 7 to the Charlotte Hornets in the third quarter. Eventually, though, they forced three turnovers in a three-minute and built a double digit lead. They won for the fourth time in five games, easing fans’ worries about their recent struggles.

170. . 107. 169. 95

James Harden finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, giving him his 44th double-double of the season, which leads the NBA. He has also scored 30+ points on 25 occasions. Patrick Beverley put in 17 points and 3 steals, and Ryan Anderson scored 14 points on 5/11 shooting.

Despite Houston trailing for over half the game, only Corey Brewer finished with a negative +/-. Even when the Rockets were down, it felt like they were in control. They looked dominant at times, even.

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The Hornets, on the other hand, have now lost 8 of their last 9 contests, putting them one game back from a playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Nicolas Batum finished with 15 points and 10 assists on 50% shooting, but that is about the extent of Charlotte’s quality play. All-Star Kemba Walker turned the ball over 6 times and shot 42% from the floor, being outplayed by Harden at every turn.

Next, the Houston Rockets host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night. As I wrote before, they won’t play a playoff-seeded team until February 27th when they host the Indiana Pacers.

If there’s ever a time for the Rockets to go on a winning streak, it’s right now. If they win out for the rest of the month, they’ll have won 8 games in a row going into March.

Next: 3-on-3: Short Term Fixes, Long Term Problems

Stay tuned in to Space City Scoop for updates on any upcoming roster changes for the Rockets, as well as more game previews and recaps.

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