HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets won their second consecutive game Saturday night in a 146-143 overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets inside the Toyota Center. The victory gave the Rockets their first win streak of the season — and the first since Houston recorded six straight wins in February as a result of the W.O.W Factor.
With Jalen Green out due to an injury hamstring, coach Stephen Silas unveiled a different starting lineup but kept Christian Wood at center. The Hornets had no answer for Wood with starting center Mason Plumlee out for Charlotte.
He scored 15 of his 33 points in the first half, which led to the Rockets taking a 73-71 lead into the half time break. With 16 rebounds, Wood recorded in 10th double-double of the season in the win. But as great of a performance Wood had, it wasn’t a solo act for the five-year veteran from UNLV.
Garrison Mathews started in placed of Green and contributed to 10 first quarter points. Mathews’ early contributions helped the Rockets take a 43-30 lead into the second period — which marked their high scoring quarter of the season thus far. Mathews ended the night with 20 points.
Coming off a win Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Hornets had a slow start to the game but found their niche in the second quarter. Charlotte outscored Houston 41-30 in the second period, and if not for a triple to close out the quarter by Kevin Porter Jr., the Hornets would have held the lead entering the halftime break.
In his second game back following a thigh injury, Porter scored 23 points and dished 12 assists. All five starters scored in double figures in the win, with Jae’Sean Tate and Eric Gordon scoring a combined 38 points.
Similar to their last victory against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, the Rockets received a significant boast from their bench. With Armoni Brooks leading the way with 15 points — Houston’s second unit added in 31 points.
Brooks made his biggest contribution to the Rockets’ superior night shooting from behind the arc by drilling five of Houston’s 23 triples.
Terry Rozier kept the Hornets in the game by scoring a team-high 31 points. Charlotte nearly stole a victory from the Rockets by sending the game into overtime following a P.J. Washington dunk late in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. LaMelo Ball recorded a triple-double of 19 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds in the loss.
Following the win, the Rockets will try to make it three consecutive victories on Monday, when they take on the 6-13 Oklahoma City Thunder inside the Toyota Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT.