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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.
"We didn't move the ball. It's simple," Harden said. "We didn't make shots and we didn't move the ball. We obviously want every game to be perfect, but it's not. We didn't make shots, and we got stagnant. They moved shots and they moved the ball."
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.
01/10 00:19:39 ET