88 - 90 Final - OT
  for this game

Dalembert lifts Rockets over Hornets in OT

Jan 20, 2012 - 6:54 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Samuel Dalembert's put-back slam with 11 seconds left in overtime lifted the Rockets to a 90-88 victory over the Hornets on Thursday.

Dalembert finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds despite twisting his ankle in a fourth quarter which saw the Rockets squander a 12-point lead.

Kevin Martin scored a game-high 32 as the Rockets won their fifth straight. Courtney Lee added 17 points in his second game back from a calf strain. He was the only Houston reserve to score.

"Tonight was a desperate performance by us," Martin said. "It just looked like the life was out of us, but we found a way to pull that one out."

Jason Smith paced the Hornets, losers of six straight, with 17 points. Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli both had 15 while Trevor Ariza added 10.

The Rockets took a 14-point lead -- their largest of the game -- on Lee's three with under a minute left in the third. But Hornets center Chris Kaman hit a hook shot before the buzzer and the Hornets carried the momentum into the fourth.

Houston led 80-70 with five minutes remaining before the Hornets scored nine straight. Smith had six points during the run and made it 80-79 with a turnaround jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Martin answered with a 21-footer, but Smith scored in close, making it 82-81 with under a minute to play. After a Martin miss, Jack drove to paint and drew the foul. He hit 1-of-2 from the stripe to send the game into overtime.

Lee opened the scoring in the extra session with a free throw, but the Hornets scored the next six points on two jumpers from Jack and a fadeaway from Smith to take an 88-83 lead.

Dalembert then made it 88-86 with a three-point play and Rockets forward Luis Scola drew a foul following a Jack miss, knocking down both from the line to tie the game.

With 15 seconds left, Martin came up with the ball off a Jack turnover, dribbled the length of the floor and threw up a contested righty runner. The shot was strong, but Dalembert was there for the flush. Belinelli missed a twisting mid-range jumper at the buzzer, sealing the dramatic win.

"We couldn't get off the shot that we wanted at the end. They were playing well against the pick and roll," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said.

Game Notes

Houston improved to 6-1 at home this season...Lee missed eight games with a right calf strain before returning on Tuesday...Scola had 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting.