Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) The Houston Rockets ended their winning streak Wednesday in Louisiana, allowing the New Orleans Hornets to complete a comeback 88-79 win for their season-high third straight victory.
Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin scored nine points on four of 12 shooting attempts, as well as making five steals, five assists, five rebounds and five turnovers.
The Rockets worse-than-expected performance cost them the game. They made a total of 22 turnovers compared to the Hornets' 16, and they were also out-rebounded by New Orleans 46-39.
James Harden was the only Rocket to score in double digits throughout the game, contributing 25 points and four rebounds in spite of seven turnovers. But his shooting was held to three points in the fourth quarter when the Hornets soared past the Rockets 29-10 in the final quarter alone.
The club led 36-34 at halftime and 69-59 after three quarters.
However, the Rockets were unable to maintain the momentum into the final quarter, making just 10 points on four out of 19 shots and missing all three-pointers on nine attempts, far from their performances prior to Wednesday in which the Rockets surpassed all other clubs in the league by scoring an average 106.8 points per game.
"A lot of what we did was self-inflicted. I'm not worried about the shots. It's the turnovers and not keeping them off the glass that hurt us," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale was quoted as saying by NBA.com.
"Any time a team gets that many offensive rebounds it's going to be hard to run,'" McHale was quoted by AP as saying.
The Hornets, on the other hand, turned the game around with the help of reserve guard Roger Mason.
Mason shot 100 percent from the field to score 15 of his 17 points in the final quarter, leading New Orleans with a 21-2 run.
"I just keep working, staying in the game, and I feel good," Mason was quoted as saying by AP. "God gave me the strength to hit some good shots."
Following a one-day break, the Rockets will continue on their road trip and play against the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
(By Lee Yu-cheng and Nell Shen)