By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
Kemba Walker scored a team-high 26 points and Dwight Howard notched his fourth double-double (19 points, 16 rebounds) in five games but the Hornets could not withstand Houston’s 3-point outburst in a 109-93 loss on Oct. 27 in front of 17,339 fans at Spectrum Center. The Rockets set records for 3-pointers made (22) and attempted (57) by a Charlotte opponent, and the 57 attempts were the third-most ever attempted in an NBA game. The Hornets fall to 2-3 overall and are 2-1 on their home court.
The Hornets trailed 56-46 coming out of the locker room after the halftime break, and despite shooting 4-of-22 in the second quarter and being outscored 29-16 to see Houston’s lead build to double digits, seemed poised to start the second half strong. Dwight Howard converted inside to start the half and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist followed up with a driving score on the break. After another defensive stop, it was Howard hitting again inside. The Hornets big man remained active on the defensive side, stealing a pass in traffic on the ensuing possession and feeding it up to Jeremy Lamb for another Charlotte transition basket to make it a two-point game just three minutes into the third quarter. However, the comeback was quickly thwarted as Luc Mbah a Moute and Ryan Anderson hit back-to-back threes to push Houston’s lead back to eight points just 1:14 later. It was a theme that would remain throughout the second half as Charlotte would cut the lead to four-or-less on four separate occasions and see the Rockets push the lead to eight-or-more over the span of the next 11:11 before Houston pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)
Kemba Walker paced Charlotte with 26 points on 8-of-22 shooting from the field and a solid 4-of-6 from behind the arc. He entered the contest raked fifth in the league in free throws made (8.0) and seventh in free throws attempted (9.0) and finished 6-of-6 from the line against the Rockets. Walker is averaging 21.0 points this season after averaging 20-or-more points the last two seasons. He added five assists and three rebounds in the losing effort.
Rockets Player of the Game
James Harden tallied his first triple-double of the season, finishing with a game-high 27 points to go with 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Harden had 22 triple-doubles last season – second highest in the NBA.
Jeremy Lamb finished with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-6 from long range. He has scored 15-or-more points in the Hornets first five games – the longest such streak of his career… Dwight Howard’s 19 points and 16 rebounds marked the 670th double-double of his career (active leader in the NBA)… Howard grabbed nine offensive boards. The last Charlotte player to grab nine offensive rebounds was Byron Mullens on 4/6/12… Howard set a new Charlotte franchise record with his fifth-straight game of 15+ rebounds. He is the first NBA player to grab 15-or-more rebounds in the first five games of a season since Charles Barkley in 1998-99, tying an NBA record… Cody Zeller (knee), Nic Batum (elbow), Michael Carter-Williams (knee) and Julyan Stone (hamstring) were all out for Charlotte… Eric Gordon had 26 points for Houston and has scored 25+ points in three-straight games.
Quote of the Night
“Of course its frustrating. We played hard, we’d go on a run and they’d hit a 3-pointer. We’d go on a run and they’d hit a layup or get an offensive rebound. We’ve just got to make more plays, but we’ll be alright.” – Jeremy Lamb
The Hornets close their three-game homestand at 6 p.m. on Sunday when the Orlando Magic visit Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.