New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans led wire-to- wire in a 111-83 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday.
The Pelicans got points from 11 players, led by Ryan Anderson's 22 off the bench. Tyreke Evans contributed 21 points, five assists and four rebounds, and Omer Asik scored nine and pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds in New Orleans' second win in its last three games.
"Guys were ready to play tonight," said Anderson. "We were in a rhythm."
Dwight Howard and Corey Brewer led the Rockets with 12 points each in their third loss in four games. NBA scoring leader James Harden had just 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
"We wanted to try our best to keep (Harden) off the free throw line," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams.
Houston led the league in 3-pointers made coming into the game but shot just 6-of-29 from long distance.
"We have to find a way to bring some energy and sustain it for 48 minutes," said Howard.
A brief 6-1 spurt for Houston pulled it within nine points four minutes into the second quarter, but Jimmer Fredette's triple on the ensuing possession extended the Pelicans' lead back to double digits where it would remain the rest of the game.
Dante Cunningham scored the last four points of the half to give New Orleans a 59-42 lead at the break.
Asik and Evans scored on the first two possessions of the second half, and the Pelicans lead would not dip below 20 points.
New Orleans emptied its bench in the fourth quarter and its lead still ballooned to as much as 32 on Austin Rivers' reverse layup with 4:08 remaining.
Much of the first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, but the Pelicans started pulling away late in the period. They outscored Houston 10-4 in the final two minutes of the period, capped by Anderson's three-point play with three seconds left. New Orleans led 29-20 after one, and it scored six straight points to open the second.
New Orleans has beaten Houston in three straight meetings ... The Pelicans outrebounded the Pelicans 49-38 ... This was the first game of the season the Rockets never led ... Anthony Davis scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds for New Orleans ... Josh Smith was held to eight points for Houston. The Rockets are 2-3 since signing him.