It almost got away, but the Rockets win streak is up to nine games, following a 121-114 win over the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night at Toyota Center.
After leading for the entire game, the Rockets suddenly found themselves behind by a point with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter after Frank Kaminsky drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the night, but after a timeout, James Harden drove and kicked to Ryan Anderson in the right corner for a three, and after Montrezl Harrell blocked Kemba Walker’s 5-footer, Harden drove to the rim for a layup as the Rockets closed the game on an 11-3 run.
Harden’s assist on Anderson’s triple gave him his 11th triple-double of the season, and he finished with 40-points after making a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining, making him the fourth player in league history with back-to-back 40-point triple-doubles.
The win improves the Rockets to 31-9 on the season, tied with San Antonio for the second seed in the Western Conference near the halfway mark.
Five other Rockets finished in double-figures led by Trevor Ariza’s 16. Corey Brewer scored 15 off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting.
Houston scored the game’s first 10 points, and led 32-26 after a quarter. It pushed the lead to 20 at the half, and while the Hornets chipped away at the lead in the third, the Rockets scored the final 5 points of the period to push the lead back to 17.
The Rockets upped the lead to 20 again early in the fourth quarter, until Charlotte grabbed the lead for the first time all night with a 28-7 burst.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 25 points, Kaminsky chipped in 22 off the bench.