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Rockets falter down the stretch once more, lose to Pelicans 119-106

Houston looked the part in the third quarter but couldn’t sustain their play to the end.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets came out firing in the second half after taking a double-digit deficit into the break, but some sloppy play led to a horrid fourth quarter and a 119-106 defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Rockets fell behind 63-50 at the midway point, but a huge third quarter put them in the lead 87-86 heading into the final frame. But the Rockets turned the ball over a whopping 26 times, and a young team is not going to overcome that, and the Pelicans dominated the fourth for the win.

Jalen Green led the way for the Rockets with 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting from the field and was dang near unstoppable at times, and he also added 6 assists. However, he helped contribute to Houston’s downfall with 5 turnovers.

However, the most egregious offender was Kevin Porter Jr., who finished the game with a team-high 7 turnovers, including some ugly ones with the Rockets in the lead that helped get New Orleans back in the game. He did finish with 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting, but that 3 assists to 7 turonvers ratio was about as ugly as it gets.

Alperen Sengun finally came back to earth, finishing with just 6 points and 3 boards after fouling out in just 19 minutes of action, and Jabari Smith Jr. had just 9 points on 4-for-10 shooting, but he also had a career-high 15 rebounds on the night.

Eric Gordon was your only other Rocket in double figures with 15 points, while Usman Garuba and KJ Martin were both decent off the bench, finishing with 4 points and 6 rebounds and 9 points and 7 boards respectively.

Zion Williamson led the way for New Orleans with 26 points on 8-for-9 shooting, while Larry Nance pitched in 22 on 8-for-10 from the floor. Brandon Ingram had 20 points, 5 assists and 3 steals.

The Rockets now fall to 2-11 on the season and currently lead the way in quest for the best Wembanyama odds, and while they do play five out of their next six games at home, the competition doesn’t get any easier, with games against the L.A. Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors all on the docket.

The next game is Monday night at home against the Clips.