Postgame recap: Rockets 130, Pelicans 123

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEO

Rockets (21-4), Pelicans (14-14)

HOUSTON – Alvin Gentry and Mike D’Antoni worked together on the coaching staff for the Phoenix Suns in the previous decade, a team at the forefront of the NBA’s new era of up-tempo pace and prolific three-point gunning. So it was perhaps appropriate that their current teams played Monday in one of the most breakneck, high-scoring games you’ll ever see in the league.

Houston and New Orleans combined to score the most points in a first half of any NBA game since 1991, then went toe-to-toe in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the Rockets had just enough to overtake the Pelicans, winning their 10th consecutive game. New Orleans played without Anthony Davis, who returned to the inactive list due to the same left adductor strain that forced him to miss games last week.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Chris Paul sank one of two free throws with 14 seconds left, giving Houston a three-possession advantage. The Rockets grabbed the second missed foul shot, then dribbled out the final seconds of a hard-fought victory.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Wing starters Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore were fantastic, scoring 37 and 36 points, respectively, with Moore setting a career high and Holiday coming within a point of tying his. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of their games was that both piled up the points in efficient fashion. Holiday shot a dazzling 16/21 from the field, while Moore was a nearly identical 15/20. Moore began the night perfect in his first six attempts from the three-point stripe, setting another career high. Holiday was 4/7 from deep. Oh by the way, point guard Rajon Rondo notched a triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists), becoming the only NBA player to register at least one in each of the past 10 seasons.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“They played great, but they’ve been playing great. It’s not anything that’s new. I think E’Twaun is playing with a lot of confidence, and Jrue is playing with a lot of confidence, too.” – Gentry on the high-scoring tandem

“We could’ve settled (under the circumstances), but our guys came out really thinking they could win the game.” – Gentry on his team reacting well to an unfavorable situation of a back-to-back on the road against the NBA’s best team right now

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can do a lot of things, a lot of talent. Once we get it together a little bit on the defensive end, we’ll be hard to beat.” – Moore on why New Orleans is playing so well offensively recently

“It’s just been clicking.” – Holiday on the Pelicans, who’ve consistently been scoring a lot of points and making numerous threes in recent weeks

BY THE NUMBERS

154: Total points in the first half, which Houston won 78-76. That was the highest-scoring half in the last 26 years in the NBA.

54.5: Pelicans three-point percentage, one night after they shot 62.9 percent, a big factor in Sunday’s home win over Philadelphia.

8: New Orleans players in the rotation Monday, in the second game of a back-to-back. Fatigue may have played a role in the Pelicans’ tough fourth quarter. The team was very short-handed due to injuries to Davis, Dante Cunningham, Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen, along with three other roster members who were already long-term inactives.

18: New Orleans turnovers, a costly stat. Despite playing so fast-paced, Houston only committed nine.

Game recap: Rockets 130, Pelicans 123

Four Rockets players score 20 plus points as Houston gets the win over the Pelicans, 130-123.

Game 28: Pelicans-Rockets 12-11-17

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Game recap: Rockets 130, Pelicans 123

Four Rockets players score 20 plus points as Houston gets the win over the Pelicans, 130-123.
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