Recap: Rockets vs. Pelicans 04/12/2015

Rockets Match Last Season's Win Total in Victory Over Pelicans
by Chad Shanks

The Rockets picked up their 54th win (matching last season’s total) in a 121-114 victory over the Pelicans. The win guarantees the Rockets will finish the season without losing more than two consecutive games at any point.

The Rockets won their second straight against the Pelicans and evened the season-series at 2-2 with the win tonight.

By going 39-73 from the field, the Rockets set a new season-high for field goal percentage in a game at 53.4% (previous: 52.4% 1/8 at NYK). Additionally, the Rockets moved to 12-1 when shooting better than 50.0% from the field.

Houston entered the game second in the NBA in fast break points per game at 18.7 per game. Meanwhile, New Orleans averages the 7th fewest at 10.8 points per game. Tonight, Houston outscored New Orleans 21-0 in transition. This marked a new season-low for opponent points in transition this season (Previous: 3 points at OKC on 11/16).

The Rockets used a 9-0 run in the first to grab a quick seven-point lead, but New Orleans finished the quarter on a 22-9 run to grab a six-point lead.

With Dwight Howard in early foul trouble, the Pelicans grabbed an early rebounding edge and even started with a 16-4 advantage in points in the paint. Howard returned and put up 16 points and 11 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season (and third consecutive).

The Rockets rallied from down 10 in the second to trail by just three at halftime after James Harden scored 12 of his 16 first-half points in the quarter and finished with his 35th 30+ point game of the season. New Orleans had a 14-0 second chance points advantage when Houston started their run, trimming it to just 16-7 by halftime.

The comeback continued in the third as Jason Terry hit three three-pointers and Dwight Howard gave Houston the lead on the first play of the fourth.

However, much like San Antonio on Friday night, New Orleans initiated the intentional fouling strategy to send Houston to the line. The result was much better as the Rockets went a combined 34-48 to neutralize the strategy.

Corey Brewer also came up big with 13 points in the final quarter to help the Rockets build as large as a 12-point lead.  The Rockets also scored their last 12 consecutive points of the game from the free throw line.

The Rockets head to Charlotte tomorrow night for the final road game of the regular season.