LOS ANGELES, (AFP) - Terry Rozier scored a team high 24 points as the Charlotte Hornets used a red-hot start to defeat the Houston Rockets 108-99 on Saturday.
The Hornets scored the game’s first 20 points and maintained a double digit lead for most of the second half in front of a crowd of 19,100 at Spectrum Center.
“This was a good one for us tonight,” said Hornets rookie P.J. Washington. “We felt like we should have won the last two so just coming out the same intensity that we did those last two games tonight and it got us a win so we are trying to look to do that the rest of the season.”
The Rockets, who were without Russell Westbrook, got little offence outside of James Harden and Robert Covington.
Harden finished with a triple double with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists but he also had the dubious honour of committing half of the Rockets’ 20 turnovers.
Devonte’ Graham added 23 points, Washington contributed 22 points, Cody Zeller had 13 points and Miles Bridges was good for 10 points for Charlotte.
Robert Covington scored 25 points for Houston, who lost their third straight game for the third time this season.
Aside from Harden and Covington, the Rockets’ starters combined for just eight points.
“I’ve never experienced that before — 20-0, that’s a big deficit to overcome, and for whatever reason when we did attack we turned it over,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said of the slow start. “It was kind of weird.”
Houston played without guard Westbrook, which severely hampered their offence. They missed five three point attempts on their first 12 possessions.
Elsewhere, Eric Paschall capped a 23-point performance with a pair of go-ahead free throws in the final minute as the Golden State Warriors beat Philadelphia 76ers 118-114.
Damion Lee had a game-high-tying 24 points, including a key three-point play for host Golden State.
The Warriors learned during the day that Stephen Curry would be joining fellow all-star teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the sidelines because of a flu bug. Curry had returned from a 58-game absence due to a broken left hand on Thursday.
In Cleveland, Kevin Love scored 27 points, Collin Sexton had 25 and the host Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Denver Nuggets 104-102.
Cedi Osman added 20 points, Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds and Matthew Dellavedova had seven points and 14 assists for Cleveland, which ended a four-game losing streak.