NBA Game Summary - New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Houston
(Saturday, November 5th)
Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 91, Houston 84
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Rookie Chris Paul had 15 points and eight assists for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, who rallied to defeat the undermanned Houston Rockets, 91-84, at the Toyota Center.
Paul scored the final six points of the game to ensure the victory.
The Rockets were playing without All-Star Tracy McGrady, who could be out for up to three weeks because of back spasms he suffered during practice on Friday. McGrady landed awkwardly following a dunk, compounding a list of injuries he's had to endure since the start of training camp.
Four players scored in double digits in his absence, led by Yao Ming, who finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Rafer Alston scored 15 points, Derek Anderson netted 17 points and Juwan Howard scored 11 for Houston, which dropped its first contest after winning its opener 98-89 over Sacramento.
P.J. Brown poured in a team-high 18 points to go with 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who have won two of their first three games to start the season. Speedy Claxton chipped in 14 points off the bench.
After a tightly-contested first half that left the two teams deadlocked at 52-52, Houston assumed the role of front-runner for the better part of the second half.
An Anderson jump shot late in the fourth capped a 6-1 run, staking the Rockets to an 82-74 advantage with under four minutes to play.
The Hornets, though, ripped off a 17-2 run to finish the game. The biggest shots came from Paul, who hit a tear-drop floater with 53 seconds remaining to give New Orleans/Oklahoma City an 87-84 advantage, then dropped a nearly identical shot on the Hornets' next possession to put them up by five.
Paul would then would seal the game with two converted free throws in the game's final moments.
Last season, the Rockets won three of the four meetings between the clubs. Overall, Houston has won nine of 13 and 10 of the last 15 contests in this series. The Hornets had lost five of their last seven at Houston prior to this meeting...The Rockets will host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday in the finale of their three-game homestand...The Hornets return home for two contests. They will host the Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks on the stand.
11/05 23:50:55 ET