NBA Game Summary - New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Houston
(Saturday, January 14th)
Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 86, Houston 80
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Rookie Chris Paul had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to an 86-80 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.
Desmond Mason added 16 points and six rebounds while P.J. Brown had 13 points and 10 boards for the Hornets, who have won two straight after dropping their previous two.
Juwan Howard netted 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Luther Head and David Wesley each put in 18 points for the Rockets, who have lost their last five games.
Rafer Alston had 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the defeat for Houston, which has dropped six straight at home and has not won in the city since a December 6 victory against Boston.
"We didn't guard the ball well and we didn't help appropriately," said Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy. "I think they (the Hornets) were probably sleepy a little bit, not ready to play. I had a little bit to do with it. They turned it up in the second half and we had no response."
Houston had a 60-59 lead going into the final 12 minutes of the contest and Howard nailed a turnaround hook shot to give the Rockets a six-point lead with 4:59 left.
However, the Hornets scored the next 10 points, with Brown putting in five straight, Paul hitting 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and Speedy Claxton banking in a jumper, to give them a 78-74 lead with 2:03 remaining.
The margin then grew to six points with 25 seconds left and the Hornets escaped with the win.
"Even though we won the game we have a lot of things to learn from," said Hornets coach Byron Scott. "Our athleticism and our quickness are the keys to our team and we need to use them to our advantage."
The opening 12 minutes was a low-scoring affair and the Hornets had an 18-13 lead going into the second quarter.
Houston took the lead in the second and used a 13-5 run to take a 36-27 lead after Wesley hit two free throws with a little over a minute remaining until halftime. New Orleans/Oklahoma City closed the gap to make it a 36-31 game at the break.
Claxton finished with 12 points and seven rebounds...West finished with 10 points and seven rebounds...Houston is 0-11 this season without star forward Tracy McGrady, who has missed the last three games after being taken to the hospital with severe back spasms during the team's loss to Denver last Sunday...The Hornets have won their last four games against the Rockets.
01/15 01:06:40 ET