HOUSTON (Ticker) --
The Houston Rockets had a third quarter to
forget, but down the stretch, Cuttino Mobley
and Steve Francis
proved they had short memories.
Mobley and Francis scored 12 points apiece in the final 12
minutes as the Rockets rallied past the New Orleans Hornets,
Houston trailed, 79-76, after Baron Davis
nailed a 3-pointer
with 5:21 remaining. But the Rockets scored the next 13 points,
including seven by Mobley, and closed the game on a 21-6 run.
Recent acquisition James Posey
put Houston ahead for good,
80-79, on a layup following an offensive rebound with 4:23 to
"We really needed (the win)," said Rockets coach Rudy
Tomjanovich, whose team shot a franchise-low 29.5 percent in a
loss to New York on Friday. "It was more than one win,
especially after what happened Friday. I couldn't be happier
how we responded."
Mobley finished with 24 points and eight rebounds and Francis
23, seven and five assists as the Rockets snapped a three-game
losing streak. Houston also extended the Hornets' losing streak
to four games - their longest since December 30-January 15.
"We didn't come with it in the fourth quarter," Hornets coach
Paul Silas said. "We just kind of let it slip away down the
stretch. You can't feel sorry for ourselves because we've spent
a lot of time on the road. You still have to make plays at the
key times that will win you a ball game. We didn't do that
The Hornets scored the last two points of the second quarter and
the first 12 of the third to take a 55-52 advantage. The
Rockets missed their first 13 shots of the second half before
Mobley made a layup with just 4:34 left in the third period.
New Orleans extended its lead to 67-59 entering the fourth
quarter. Houston's seven points were its fewest ever in the
third quarter and matched its franchise low for any quarter -
the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on November
"We didn't run anything (offensively in the third)," Mobley
said. "They pushed us out of position. They were trying to be a
little physical in the third. That's East Coast defense. You
have to take it to the cup."
It also was the fewest points the Hornets had allowed in the
third quarter and matched their franchise low in any period.
They had yielded just seven points in the second quarter against
Miami on December 23, 1995.
scored 25 points to pace the Hornets, who lost
for the seventh time in eight games and for the sixth time in
seven road contests.
"I wish we had flip-flopped the third and fourth quarters,"
Mashburn said. "Down the stretch, we made some silly mistakes
and they took over the game."
Houston shot 68 percent in the first quarter to take a 33-21
lead. The Hornets climbed within 52-43 by halftime before
making their big third-quarter run, but they could not hold off
the Rockets in the fourth quarter.
"A lot of times when a team puts a run on you they tank it,"
said Rockets forward Glen Rice
, who scored just five points. "We
didn't get it in the basket (in the third quarter). That's OK.
Fight hard on the defensive end and they'll start missing
shots, and that's what happened."
"We got stagnant on the offensive end and everything was
isolation, and we can't win that way," said Davis, who scored 14
points before fouling out in the last minute. "We made
mistakes down the end and we can't do that. We had
opportunities to win the game."