Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets outrun Houston Rockets 125-109 for 7th win in row

Charlotte Hornets' Marvin Williams (2) gets free for a dunk against the Houston Rockets during Saturday’s game in Charlotte.
Charlotte Hornets' Marvin Williams (2) gets free for a dunk against the Houston Rockets during Saturday’s game in Charlotte. AP

It’s been a long, long time since a Charlotte NBA team beat the Houston Rockets.

The Hornets used a 27-8 run at the start of the fourth quarter to build a 20-point lead for a 125-109 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Rockets had won the previous 10 games in this series.

Power forward Marvin Williams got things started with 20 first-half points for the Hornets. Then point guards Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin carried the Hornets home for their seventh victory in a row. The Hornets are now 37-28.

Rockets center Dwight Howard had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Star shooting guard James Harden had a miserable night, shooting 2-of-14 from the field.

Three who mattered

Walker: His pull-up 3-pointer with just under eight minutes left pushed the lead to 18.

Courtney Lee: Solid defense on Harden helped contain the All-Star to 12 points.

Williams: He ignited the first-quarter offense that led to a 19-point first-half lead.

Observations

▪  The Hornets scored 34 points in the first quarter, their third consecutive game with 30-plus points in the first period.

▪  Williams scored 14 first-quarter points, making two 3-pointers. The Rockets didn’t seem particularly interested in guarding Williams beyond the arc.

▪  The Hornets held Harden scoreless in the first quarter on 0-of-6 shooting from the field.

▪  Cody Zeller picked up three first-half fouls, mostly while trying to contain Howard in the post.

▪  Harden committed three first-half fouls.

Worth mentioning

▪  Howard threw up two hook shots from the mid-court line in pre-game warm-ups. Both hit the rim but neither fell through the basket.

▪  Saturday was the Hornets’ 11th sell-out this season.

▪  The Hornets have two more games in this home stand (Dallas and Orlando) before heading to Miami for a Thursday game with the Heat.

Report card

A+ OFFENSE: Exceptional 3-point shooting.

B DEFENSE: They contained Harden, though he did reach double figures in assists.

A COACHING: Did a good job managing minutes at center after Cody Zeller got in first-half foul trouble.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell

 
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