An incredible fourth-quarter comeback effort came up just short for the Charlotte Hornets as James Harden‘s triple-double led Houston to a win.
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The Charlotte Hornets (20-19) were defeated by the Houston Rockets (31-9) as James Harden’s 40-point triple-double led his team to their eighth straight win. Charlotte’s road woes continued as they have now lost four straight away from home and nine of their last 11 on the road. The Hornets were shorthanded but they were still able to put up a great fight as their bench stepped up.
Charlotte was without two starters in Nicolas Batum (hyperextended knee) and Cody Zeller (illness) as Jeremy Lamb and Roy Hibbert stepped into the starting lineup. While Lamb and Hibbert didn’t do much filling in, the Hornets’ bench replaced Batum and Zeller’s output as the second unit had one of their best games of the year. The team will be hoping that Nic and Cody can both return soon because they need a spark to break this three-game losing streak.
The Hornets were down by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter but they battled back and with the hep of a 16-0 run, 21-2 in total, in the period, they took a one-point lead, 111-110 with 2:27 left in the game. That looked like it would be the turning point but the amazing comeback would not result in a victory for Charlotte.
Instead, the Rockets responded with an 11-3 run to close out the game. Some clutch plays from James Harden led Houston as he made or assisted on their final three made field goals in the final 2:15 of the match.
Who Stepped Up
Kemba Walker led Charlotte once again as he finished with 25 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. Frank Kaminsky made a career-high four three’s and was one-point shy of his career-high as he ended the game with 22 points off the bench. Marvin Williams added 16 points and eight boards while Spencer Hawes gave the team quality minutes with 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Marco Belinelli also had himself a night off the bench with 15 points and six assists.
The Rockets were led by MVP frontrunner James Harden as he recorded his 11th triple-double of the season with 40 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. Trevor Ariza scored 16 and Corey Brewer chipped in with 15 but this game was all about the brilliance of one, James Harden.
Charlotte has now lost 12 games in a row in Houston
Kemba scored 20+ points for the 27th time this season.
Kaminsky now has the ninth most made three-pointers by a seven-footer in NBA history.
The Hornets’ second unit outscored the Rockets’ bench 58-30.
Charlotte made more three’s (19) than Houston (17) in this one.
With the loss, the Hornets drop to 0-1 against the Rockets this season. The two sides will meet once more this season and that game will be in Charlotte on February 9th. They split the season series last year and that will be the best case scenario for Steve Clifford’s side this season as well.
In their next game, the Charlotte Hornets will stay on the road as they travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. They have had two heartbreaking comeback losses on this road trip so a win over the lowly 76ers would be a much-needed boost for the Queen City team. Hopefully, Kemba and the Hornets can grab a confidence boosting win in Philly.