HOUSTON – Kevin Martin scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half, Samuel Dalembert grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds and the Houston Rockets survived one of the worst fourth quarters in team history to beat the New Orleans Hornets 90-88 in overtime on Thursday night.
Courtney Lee scored a season-high 17 points and Kyle Lowry added 10 points and eight assists for the Rockets, who've won five in a row.
Jason Smith scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack and Marco Bellinelli added 15 points apiece for the Hornets, who've lost 12 of 13.
The Rockets led by as many as 14, but went 3 for 21 from the field and tied a franchise-record low by scoring only 7 points in the final quarter.
Jack swished a baseline jumper with 3:47 left in overtime to give New Orleans its first lead, and Smith hit one from nearly the same spot to put the Hornets up 86-83.
Jack scored again before Dalembert converted a three-point play. Luis Scola sank two free throws to tie it with 1:10 remaining.
Martin picked up a loose ball with under 30 seconds left and missed a layup on a fast break, but Dalembert grabbed the rebound and dunked with 11 seconds left.
Marco Bellinelli missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Houston escaped to beat the Hornets for only the second time in the last eight meetings.
Martin hit 10 of 14 shots in the first half, including five 3-pointers, as Houston built a 58-49 halftime lead. Houston went 8 for 14 from 3-point range in the opening half and matched its first-half season high point total set in Monday's 114-106 win in Washington.
With the Hornets focused on Martin, Dalembert scored six points inside in the third quarter to keep Houston in front. The Rockets' bench was unable to stretch the lead early in the fourth, but Martin returned and converted a three-point play with 7:02 left for a 78-69 Houston lead.
The Hornets' defense finally stiffened, and New Orleans went on a 9-0 run capped by Smith's turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to 80-79 with just over two minutes remaining.
Smith had a chance to win it in regulation, but his turnaround at the buzzer rimmed out.
NOTES: The Rockets have held double-digit leads in eight straight games, one shy of matching their longest streak since 2008-09. ... Houston has won 18 consecutive games when holding its opponent below 100 points. ... Dalembert has three double-doubles this season, all in the last week. ... The Hornets have held 12 of their first 14 opponents below 100 points. ... The Rockets had a 53-48 edge on the boards, only the third time this season that the Hornets have been outrebounded. ... Hornets coach Monty Williams said had no target date for the return of shooting guard Eric Gordon, who's been out since Jan. 4 with a bruised right knee. ... Rockets F Jordan Hill sat out with flu-like symptoms.