User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Rockets 100, Hornets 96

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden is getting used to his role as the go-to guy in Houston.

Advertisement
Harden scored 30 points, Omer Asik added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and the Rockets held off the New Orleans Hornets 100-96 on Wednesday night.

Greivis Vasquez scored a career-high 24 for the Hornets, despite hurting his left ankle in the third quarter and briefly leaving the game. Anthony Davis had only eight points on 2-for-7 shooting.

Harden went 10 for 20 from the field but only 1 of 7 from 3-point range in his third 30-point game since joining the Rockets in a blockbuster trade with Oklahoma City on Oct. 27.

``It's taken seven games for me to just be the man, and know what to expect and know how to handle every situation,'' Harden said. ``There are going to be games where, I don't know. There are going to be a lot of experiences that I learn from, so I'm just taking it one game at a time.''

The Rockets outscored New Orleans 39-18 in the second quarter to build a big lead, but the Hornets played better defense in the second half to close the gap. Houston shot 58 percent (14 of 24) from the field and hit six 3-pointers in the second period.

``When you have a quarter like that, it's hard to rebound,'' New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. ``But I thought the guys on our team showed a lot of guts and character, getting back in the game.''

The Hornets couldn't quite come all the way back. Chandler Parsons sank a pivotal 3-pointer and fadeaway jumper late to help Houston win for the second time in five home games. The Rockets also built big leads in the first two games of the season, against Detroit and Atlanta, and had to fend off late rallies to win in much the same way.

``We can't keep getting these double-digit leads in the first half and give them away,'' Parsons said. ``We've got to come out there in the third quarter with energy and not allow that.''

The Rockets took the floor while first-round draft pick Royce White remained absent from the team. The 6-foot-8 White called the team ``inconsistent'' in its efforts to help him cope with his anxiety disorder and fear of flying, and he sent out a series of often critical tweets throughout the day.

The team has said nothing publicly beyond a statement that said White was ``unavailable'' and that it would support him going forward.

After a slow start, the Rockets hardly seemed distracted.

Reserves Marcus Morris and Toney Douglas both hit a pair of 3s early in the second quarter as the Rockets surged to a 47-38 lead. Houston started 7 for 10 from the field overall in the quarter. Morris stayed on the floor when the starters returned, and scored on consecutive drives to stretch the lead to 52-40.

Harden, the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year, liked what he saw from the Houston bench.

``They lifted us up,'' Harden said. ``Toney and Carlos (Delfino) and Marcus Morris really did a good job, coming in and bringing that energy.''

New Orleans defended the perimeter better in the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to six. Vasquez, fourth in the NBA in assists coming into the game, twisted his left ankle on a drive late in the third quarter. He came out of the game and limped to the locker room.

Houston led 85-76 after three, then gave away four turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the final quarter. Vasquez returned and guarded Harden, who swished a jumper from the top of the key for a 95-88 lead with just over 4 minutes to go.

The 6-foot-9 Al-Farouq Aminu switched to guard Harden after that, and Harden passed to Parsons for a 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining.

Vasquez then sank a pair of 3s to fuel a quick 8-0 Hornets run that cut the gap to 98-96 with less than 2 minutes to play. Parsons just beat the shot clock with an awkward fadeaway jumper to put Houston up by four.

Aminu and Vasquez missed 3-pointers in the final 5 seconds, and Houston held on.

Notes: Houston coach Kevin McHale missed his third straight game since taking an indefinite leave to address a family matter in Minnesota. Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson said the team still has no timetable for McHale's return. ... Former Rockets center Ralph Sampson was honored at midcourt during a timeout in the second quarter. Sampson, the top overall pick in the 1983 draft who guided Houston to the 1986 NBA Finals, was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September. ... The Rockets' 39 second-quarter points and 64 first-half points were season highs.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Surprises and Disappointments
Lawrence: Zig-Zag Theory
News: Playoff Props posted
Grizz grab 7th seed, beat Dallas in OT
Nets rest starters, lose to Cavaliers
76ers top resting Heat, 100-87
Pacers cruise past Magic, 101-86
Hawks top Bucks, 'over' cashes
Bucks' Kohl reaches deal to sell team
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-1 L8 G-Plays, +3,907 This Year
12-3 L15 Picks, 33-11 Streak
3-1 L4, 8-2 Last 7 Days
19-9 L28, +1,870 G-Plays TY
18-9 Last 27 Selections
11-4 L15 Totals, +1,629 Picks TY
11-5 L16 Picks, +2,007 This Year
4-0 L4 G-Plays, +1,486 TY
7-3 L10 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Totals
+1,473 Totals This Year
6-1 Last 7 Selections
5-0 L5 Picks, 9-1 L10 Win Streak
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
5-2 L7 Picks, 12-4 L16 G-Plays
+1,446 This Season
4-0 L4 Totals, 9-4 L13 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 3907
Mike Rose + 2007
Stephen Nover + 1629
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 673
ASA + 585
Paul Bovi + 478
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Chip Chirimbes 57 %
Mike Rose 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1870
The Prez + 1413
Paul Bovi + 1218
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 1473
Stephen Nover + 1347
Kyle Hunter + 1045
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1827
Mike Rose + 1604
Chip Chirimbes + 1008
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and recieve access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!