Hornets use balanced attack to down Rockets
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Greivis Vasquez, Jason Smith and Roger Mason Jr. each netted 17 points in the New Orleans Hornets' 88-79 win over the Houston Rockets.
Vasquez added 11 assists and Smith pulled down 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who outscored Houston 29-10 in the fourth quarter.
"Jason (Smith) was a big part of that, he distracted a lot of shots tonight," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "The defense helped us win the game."
New Orleans has won three in a row and five of its last eight contests on the heels of an 11-game losing streak.
James Harden had 25 points, but registered seven of the Rockets' 23 turnovers as Houston saw its five-game winning streak come to an end.
The Rockets shot a blistering 65 percent (13-of-20) in the third quarter and entered the final frame with a 69-59 advantage.
New Orleans' defense, though, stifled Houston in the fourth to help the Hornets open the period on an elongated 22-2 run.
Mason nailed three triples and tallied 13 points during the surge, which was capped when Mason drilled a left-corner trey for an 81-71 Hornets cushion with 4:19 to go.
Houston missed 12 of its first 13 shots of the fourth and never got closer than eight over the final four minutes.
Houston led 22-18 after one quarter of play and headed into the locker room with a 36-34 edge.
Houston's 23 giveaways led to 23 Hornet points ... New Orleans outrebounded the Rockets, 16-10, in the fourth ... Robin Lopez recorded 14 points for New Orleans.
01/09 22:54:46 ET