NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Houston
(Sunday, February 22nd)
Final Score: Houston 99, Charlotte 78
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Ron Artest scored a game-high 26 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out four assists, as the Houston Rockets dominated the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-78, at the Toyota Center.
Yao Ming added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who own a 4-0 mark on a six-game homestand. Von Wafer ended with 13 points off the bench, while Luis Scola and Shane Battier tallied 12 points apiece. Scola also grabbed 10 rebounds to complete his double-double performance.
Houston also improved to 22-6 on their home floor this season. This was the fourth consecutive game that the Rockets held their opponent to under 90 points for the game.
"We did well. We need to continue our defensive focus," said Yao. "Tonight we held our opponent to under 90 points again. If we play with that intensity, will be okay the rest of the season."
Charlotte was paced by Emeka Okafor, who contributed a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards. Boris Diaw and Raymond Felton also scored 13 points for the struggling Bobcats, who have dropped eight of their last 11 outings.
The Bobcats turned the ball over 21 times in the game, which led to 23 points for Houston.
Ahead 61-53, Houston took control of the game with a 12-3 run to end the third frame. Wafer's 18-foot shot culminated the surge and put the Rockets up 17, 73-56.
"We ended the third quarter poorly," said Charlotte coach Larry Brown. "They executed great and played unselfishly and that's always going to make it more difficult."
The Rockets put some of their reserve players in during the fourth stanza and were still able to outscore the Bobcats 26-22 in the final frame. The Bobcats never got closer than 15 in the fourth.
Houston took a 27-20 advantage into the second frame. Artest led the way for Houston with eight points in the first stanza.
About halfway through the second period, the Bobcats outscored the Rockets, 7-1, during a span that lasted a little under three minutes. A 17-foot jumper by Diaw culminated the small surge and cut the gap to four, 40-36. Okafor had five points during the run, including a slam on an a pass from Diaw.
The Rockets held onto a slim 44-42 edge heading into the locker room. Artest shot 7-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, on his way to 18 points after 24 minutes of play.
Houston outscored Charlotte, 10-4, to start the third quarter. Yao tallied six points during the spurt, which was topped off with a Battier deuce with under eight minutes left. The Rockets used this momentum to dominate the rest of the contest.
The Rockets shot 50 percent from the field, while the Bobcats hit just 36 percent of their shots...Houston went 13-of-27 from three-point land, compared to 4-of-19 for Charlotte...The Rockets took both meetings with the Bobcats a year ago and have won six straight after losing the first three matchups in the series. Charlotte has dropped four in a row at Houston...The Rockets outscored the Bobcats 29-14 in the third quarter.
02/22 20:31:17 ET