Rockets edge PelicansJan 16, 2014 - 5:52 AM
The Rockets trailed by as many as 10 points in the final period and seven with 3:06 to play before they came storming back. Harden's layup at 2:50 sparked eight straight Houston points to take a one-point lead. Anthony Davis tied it at 100-apiece with 1-of-2 from the foul line before Harden's pull-up jumper with 28 ticks to play put Houston on top for good.
"He's our closer so he did what closers do, he closed and we needed it," Houston head coach Kevin McHale said of Harden.
Terrence Jones stuffed the stat sheet with a career-high 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in Houston's third straight win, while Chandler Parsons netted 17 points with eight boards. Dwight Howard chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds despite battling foul trouble throughout the game.
Eric Gordon dropped a season-high 35 points in a losing effort as the Pelicans dropped their seventh straight game to fall to .500 at home. Davis had 24 points in the setback.
Davis and Gordon combined to outscore Houston by themselves in the opening 12 minutes with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. The Pelicans shot 57.1 percent as a unit and led 30-19 after the first.
The Pelicans lead grew to as many as 17 points midway through the second before a Donatas Motiejunas layup at 2:04 cut it back to single digits.
Harden's 3-pointer early in the third ignited a 7-0 Houston rally, and Jones' personal 6-0 run a little later tied the score at 68-all, but New Orleans re- established a comfortable 81-74 advantage after 36 minutes.
A pair of Davis free throws at 8:09 of the fourth made it an 86-76 affair. There was no quit in the Rockets however, as Harden made the most of two trips to the foul line around a Parsons jumper to take a 100-99 lead with 57.8 seconds to play.
After Parsons split a pair for a 103-100 lead, Darius Miller's late 3-point try was off the mark, and Howard grabbed the rebound as the clock expired.
"That was drawn up and we executed it well and got the shot that we wanted," Miller said of the team's final play. "It just didn't go in."
Houston outscored New Orleans 58-30 in the paint ... The Rockets shot just 25- of-41 from the foul line ... Houston capped its four-game road trip with a 3-1 mark. It returns home to face the Thunder on Thursday ... Gordon shot 6-of-9 from 3-point range ... New Orleans looks to snap its losing skid against the Warriors on Saturday.
Jan 15 10:37 PM
- HOUSTON: 74
NEW ORLEANS: 81
End of 3rd
Jan 15 9:55 PM
- HOUSTON: 45
NEW ORLEANS: 56
Jan 15 9:12 PM
- HOUSTON: 19
NEW ORLEANS: 30
End of 1st
Jan 15 8:36 PM
- HOUSTON: 2
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 11:44
Jan 15 8:11 PM
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