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New Orleans at Houston

Rockets 104, Hornets 92

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- When the shots weren't falling, James Harden helped the Houston Rockets find a new way to score.

Harden had 31 points and seven assists to lead the Rockets to a 104-92 victory against the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

When he couldn't find a rhythm from beyond the arc, Harden took to the paint, where he scored 16 of his points. For a team that ranks second only to New York in 3-pointers attempted and made, Houston outscored New Orleans 60-28 in the paint.

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"I think that shows the maturity that we're growing and that we're getting better," Harden said. "Sometimes our offense isn't on point, but we're finding ways to score."

Harden has led the Rockets in scoring for 14 consecutive games, not including a Dec. 10 loss to San Antonio where he was sidelined with an ankle injury. He has posted 20-plus points in a career-best 14 consecutive games, second only to Kobe Bryant for the league's longest such streak this season.

Omer Asik had 21 points and eight rebounds, and forward Patrick Patterson scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and added nine rebounds in the game for the Rockets.

Harden and Asik combined to score 18 of Houston's 25 third-quarter points.

Reserve Ryan Anderson had 18 points, and Greivis Vasquez had the third double-double of his past four games with 15 points and 14 assists for New Orleans, which lost for the 14th time in the past 16 games.

Only two days after hitting a season-high 16 3-pointers in a victory against Atlanta, the Rockets went cold from beyond the arc. Houston made a season-low five 3s on 24 attempts (20.8 percent).

"They didn't hit the 3s that they normally hit, but they just kept attacking our guards," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "They played in our paint all night long."

The Rockets led 49-44 at halftime, falling short of 50 first-half points for only the second time in the past nine games. Houston entered Wednesday's game second in the league in scoring with 105.8 points per game.

"We're going to take a lot of 3s," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "It's just how our offense is and how our personnel is. We do live and die by that a little bit."

Anderson tied the game for New Orleans at 82 on a 3-pointer with less than seven minutes remaining, but Houston followed with a 10-2 run.

"They shoot the ball so well and when they run, they can capitalize very quickly," Williams said. "We just got beat up in the fourth quarter and weren't able to come back."

Chandler Parsons finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, and Jeremy Lin had nine points and seven assists.

In addition to Anderson, Jason Smith and Brian Roberts also scored in double-figures off the bench for New Orleans.

New Orleans was without guard Eric Gordon, who had spent most of the season recovering from a knee injury before making his season debut last Saturday. Gordon scored 11 points Tuesday night, but Williams rested him as a precaution and said he expected Gordon to return when the Hornets visit Dallas on Saturday.

Rookie Austin Rivers started in place of Gordon and finished with only four points and one assist in 17 minutes. Rivers made only one of six free throws, and New Orleans finished 11 of 20 from the free-throw line.

"We have some young guys who have never been in this position before and they're overwhelmed," Williams said. "I wish the season started today because we'd be in a lot better shape, record-wise. Guys are frustrated, but I see tons of growth and this is going to help us going forward."

The Rockets visit Milwaukee on Friday to begin a stretch where they will play nine of their next 11 games on the road. Houston is 5-8 on the road and 13-6 at home.

Notes

Houston announced Wednesday the signing of G/F James Anderson, who averaged 3.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game in 10 games this season for San Antonio. The Spurs waived Anderson on Dec. 20. To make room for Anderson, the Rockets released G Daequan Cook.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
New Orleans (7-25)2321222692
Houston (18-14) «21282530104
NO:R. Anderson 18 Pts
NO:R. Lopez 8 Reb
NO:G. Vasquez 14 Ast
HOU:J. Harden 31 Pts
HOU:C. Parsons 10 Reb
HOU:J. Harden 7 Ast
Players of the Game
New OrleansHouston

Greivis Vasquez

James Harden
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
153143127
New Orleans
G. Vasquez, PG356-151-1314415
A. Davis, PF274-110-27028
R. Lopez, C186-120-081112
A. Rivers, SG171-51-61124
L. Thomas, SF101-20-02012
A. Aminu, SF313-82-48118
R. Anderson, PF296-154-471218
J. Smith, PF236-100-020412
B. Roberts, PG224-73-331111
D. McGuire, PF161-30-05022
R. Mason Jr., SG140-20-00200
E. Gordon, SGDid Not Play
X. Henry, SGDid Not Play
D. Miller, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-9011-2046212092
 42.2%55.0% 
Houston
J. Lin, PG423-102-26719
J. Harden, SG4011-237-927331
C. Parsons, SF345-90-0102210
O. Asik, C258-145-880321
M. Morris, PF212-70-04015
C. Delfino, SG241-60-03212
P. Patterson, PF237-80-0102115
G. Smith, PF171-21-24013
T. Douglas, PG143-42-22138
D. Motiejunas, PFDid Not Play
C. Aldrich, CDid Not Play
J. Anderson, SGDid Not Play
T. Jones, PFDid Not Play
R. White, PFDid Not Play
S. Machado, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8317-23492116104
 49.4%73.9% 
Other Games
Sac 97 Final
Cle 94
Wash 81 Final
Ind 89
Chi 96 Final
Orl 94
Port 79 Final
Tor 102
Mem 93 Final
Bos 83
Dal 109 Final
Mia 119
SA 117 Final
Mil 110
Brook 110 Final
OKC 93
Phi 89 Final
Pho 95
Min 84 Final
Utah 106
LAC 94 Final
GS 115