EditorsNote: changes “JJ” in third graf, fixes “New Orleans” in last graf
James Harden scored 39 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 as the visiting Houston Rockets won their fourth consecutive game, beating the injury-depleted New Orleans Pelicans 122-116 on Monday night.
Harden scored 13 straight points as the Rockets took command midway through the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon came off the bench to add 17 points, Clint Capela had 11 points and 20 rebounds, and P.J. Tucker scored 10 to support the Rockets’ two stars.
JJ Redick scored 24 to lead New Orleans, which played without three injured starters. Josh Hart scored 19 points, Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, Jahlil Okafor and E’Twaun Moore came off the bench to score 14 each, and Derrick Favors had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Forward Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans’ leading scorer, was a last-minute scratch because of knee soreness. Hart took his place in the starting lineup. New Orleans already was playing without starting point guard Lonzo Ball (groin) and forward Zion Williamson, who has yet to make his NBA debut because of arthroscopic knee surgery.
The Rockets led 58-52 at halftime and extended their lead to 11 points on three occasions early in the third quarter.
Moore entered the game and scored seven quick points and the Pelicans climbed within one point.
Houston rebuilt the lead to 11, but Redick’s 3-pointer helped New Orleans get within 90-82 after three quarters.
The Rockets increased their lead to 95-82, but Redick made two 3-pointers, one of which turned into a four-point play, helping the Pelicans get within 97-93 with 7:33 to go.
Harden scored the next 13 points of the game, including a four-point play of his own, and Houston took a 17-point lead.
The Pelicans turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, leading to nine Rockets points as Houston took a 30-23 lead at the end of the period.
Harden scored nine points in the second quarter and Okafor came off the New Orleans bench to match him as the Rockets took a 58-52 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media