James Harden registered a game-high 30 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed four rebounds and Patrick Patterson registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards, as the Houston Rockets picked up a much-needed, 100-82, road victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
Carlos Delfino tallied 14 points and shot 4-of-6 from behind the arc, for the Rockets, who have won two of their last three games following a seven- game losing skid. Jeremy Lin scored 13 points, dished out eight helpers and had six steals in the victory.
"We moved the ball and we didn't play selfish," Houston forward Chandler Parsons remarked. "Our defense was great, too."
Eric Gordon netted 20 points and Ryan Anderson added 19 for the Hornets, who have lost two straight after winning seven of nine. Al-Farouq Aminu and Anthony Davis contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the defeat.
"We didn't have the kind of focus that is necessary to play against an NBA team, especially one that has beaten you pretty good," admitted New Orleans coach Monty Williams.
The Rockets jumped out to a 27-18 advantage after one quarter, while Harden netted 11 points. New Orleans, on the other hand, shot just 30.4 percent from the floor.
Houston extended its lead to 10 midway through the second stanza as Patrick Patterson tipped in Delfino's missed trey, making it 36-26.
The home team scraped their way back though, as Davis' slam with 3:06 left ended a 10-2 run, which brought the Hornets within 38-36. Houston, however had an answer, as Patterson and Lin accounted for the team's last 10 points over the last three minutes of the half, and the Rockets went into the break up 48-40.
Things got sloppy in the second half, but Houston continued on to extend its lead to as many as 19, twice in the third stanza alone.
Parsons' layup with just over four minutes left in the third gave the Rockets a 74-55 advantage, although the Hornets did get back within 76-65 after Austin Rivers hit a corner jumper with 1:18 left.
After Anderson's lay-in with 9 1/2 left in the fourth quarter brought Houston's edge to 85-71, both teams went scoreless until the 5:49 mark. The Rockets were able to hold the Hornets off as the contest wound down, and Delfino, who added 11 points in the final stanza, nailed two clutch 3-pointers -- the final one with 2:11 left -- giving Houston a 94-80 lead and putting things out of reach.
It was New Orleans' first game since the club's official announcement of the name change to the Pelicans ... The Rockets have taken three of four this season from the Hornets, and ended a three-game skid in the Big Easy ... Harden finished with a game-high eight turnovers, while Houston committed 22, resulting in 20 New Orleans points ... The Hornets shot a mere 38.8 percent (31-of-80) from the floor.