Hornets Fall to Fast-Paced Rockets

Houston Uses 3-Point Firepower to Finish Charlotte Early


By Sam Perley, hornets.com

Result

The Charlotte Hornets were blitzed early and often by the NBA’s second-ranked offense and never fully recovered as the Rockets cruised to an easy 108-96 victory on Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Houston. Dwight Howard led the visitors with a team-high 26 points and 18 rebounds against his former squad as the Hornets lost for the 13th-consecutive time in Houston.

Turning Point

Trailing 19-13 midway through the opening quarter, Houston unleashed a 36-4 run to open up a 26-point advantage over the Hornets with roughly 10 minutes to go until halftime. Chris Paul and James Harden eventually combined to score 28 first-half points for the Rockets as they moved to 14-1 in their last 15 meetings with Charlotte.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Dwight Howard gear here)

Dwight Howard had another huge performance for the Hornets, finishing with a season-high 26 points and game-high marks in both rebounding (18) and blocks (3) for his 15th double-double of the year. Howard has now scored 20-or-more points in four-consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 4-14, 2014 when he was a member of the Rockets.

Rockets Player of the Game

Chris Paul exploded for a season-high 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting, seven rebounds, a game-high 11 assists and two steals in the victory. Paul recorded just two 30-point performances across 61 appearances for the L.A. Clippers last season.

Game Notes

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist notched his first double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, a season-high 11 rebounds and two assists… Kemba Walker totaled 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and a game-high-tying two steals… Nicolas Batum returned from a one-game absence (left elbow soreness) to chip in nine points, nine rebounds and three assists… Houston shot 17-of-45 from three-point range (37.8 percent), while the Hornets went just 4-of-21 from behind the arc (19.0 percent)… Charlotte won the rebounding battle, 56-45, which included a 12-6 edge in offensive boards… The Hornets also finished with a season-low 14 assists while the Rockets had 24.

Quote of the Night

“All the things we were doing in the first part of the first quarter, [the second unit] didn’t do [when we broke the lineup]. We were doing a good job of moving the ball, not getting turnovers, closing out to their three-point shooters, getting back in transition, getting our defense set and they blitzed us. It was one of those runs that was disappointing, but we’ve got to learn from it and move on.” – Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas

Next Up
The Hornets begin a four-game homestand against the Miami Heat starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.