Eric Gordon and Christian Wood scored 23 points apiece and the host Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to six games with a 118-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday.
Gordon added five assists and Wood eight rebounds as the Rockets fended off a late Pelicans surge. Brandon Ingram sank a 10-footer with 2:12 remaining to cut what was once a 15-point deficit to 111-105, but Danuel House Jr. responded with a pair of free throws 25 seconds later and Garrison Mathews sank a corner 3-pointer with 18.1 seconds left to seal it.
Ingram scored a season-high 40 points to keep the Pelicans afloat while Jonas Valanciunas paired 17 points with 10 rebounds. Willy Hernangomez (10 points, 14 boards) also posted a double-double for the Pelicans, who shot just 42.6 percent and missed 28 of 38 3-pointers.
Mathews (13 points), Daniel Theis (12 points), Jae'Sean Tate (11 points, seven assists) and Alperen Sengun (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Rockets, who shot 17 of 40 from deep.
Gordon and Wood combined for 23 points in the third quarter as the Rockets extended to a 15-point lead on a Wood free throw at the 5:55 mark of the period. But Ingram and Nickeil Alexander-Walker sank back-to-back 3s to keep the Pelicans within range, and a pair of Ingram free throws just prior to the close of the period enabled the Pelicans to stay within nine points.
Fueled by six Houston turnovers and seven offensive rebounds, the Pelicans closed the first quarter with a plus-11 advantage on shot attempts. However, those margins only prevented the Rockets from establishing a more comfortable lead, as Houston shot 10 of 18 from the floor while sinking half of its eight 3-pointers to forge a 28-26 advantage entering the second period.
The Rockets maintained their hot shooting, turning a 10-2 run into their largest lead of the half when Armoni Brooks hit a 3 with 50.9 seconds left for a 57-44 cushion. That rally included a four-point play from Mathews, and while the Pelicans cut that deficit to eight points by the break, the Rockets shot 55 percent prior to the intermission, including 8 for 18 from deep.
The Pelicans' advantages on the glass, including 13 offensive boards for 10 second-chance points, and their 15 points off nine Houston turnovers did not offset the Rockets' shooting.
--Field Level Media