Postgame wrap: Rockets 117, Pelicans 109

HOUSTON – The diagnosis for what went wrong in Sunday’s loss was remarkably easy to pinpoint. New Orleans approached a season high by committing 23 turnovers, leading to 29 Houston points. Despite holding a lead for long stretches of the Southwest Division matchup, the Pelicans couldn’t overcome those miscues, seeing their three-game winning streak come to an end.

Neither team held a lead of more than nine points on the scoreboard all afternoon, but Houston held the upper hand in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, winning the season series vs. New Orleans 3-1. The Pelicans dominated the Rockets in the rebounding category 63-43, but it was a much more even fight in the fourth period, where Houston turned a one-point deficit into an eight-point victory.

New Orleans missed an opportunity to continue its excellent play over the past month-plus, particularly away from home. The Pelicans hadn’t lost on the road since Jan. 11 at Boston.

“We didn’t have the right approach to the game just from an execution standpoint,” fifth-year head coach Alvin Gentry said, alluding to the high turnover count. “It’s very disappointing. We went through stretches where we played well and did what we were supposed to do and I thought we executed fine, but over the course of the game, we didn’t play the type of basketball that’s deserving of a win on the road.”


Houston’s Danuel House drained a corner three to give the Rockets an eight-point lead with 58 seconds left. New Orleans cut the deficit to six and had a chance to cut that in half, but Jrue Holiday’s three-pointer with roughly 30 seconds left misfired.


After a couple quieter games upon the debut of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram notched his third straight performance of 20-plus points. The forward totaled 28 points and 12 rebounds, while going 5/11 from three-point range.


14: New Orleans first-half turnovers. Houston only had one, a major factor in Houston leading 65-60 at the break.

63-43: Pelicans rebounding advantage. Five different Pelicans contributed double-digit boards, topped by Ingram’s 12 rebounds. Reserve wing Josh Hart grabbed 10 in 30 minutes.

39.0, 31.4: Houston subpar shooting percentages from the field and three-point range, respectively, but the Rockets still overcame that to win a second division game on the weekend (beat Dallas on Friday).


There was no shortage of candidates for Pelicans Player of the Week, with three players averaging near 20 points and Lonzo Ball contributing high production in various categories. In one of the tighter and most balanced votes of the season, Zion Williamson was a repeat weekly winner at 34 percent, while Jrue Holiday netted 30 percent and Ball garnered 25 percent.

Recent winners

Week 10: Derrick Favors

Week 11-12: Lonzo Ball

Week 13: Brandon Ingram

Week 14: Zion Williamson