HOUSTON — When the Houston Rockets lost to the San Antonio Spurs Friday night, they gave up 40 third-quarter points en route to a 131-106 defeat inside the AT&T Center. Sunday night, the Rockets allowed the New Orleans Pelicans to score 38 third-quarter points, as Houston’s sustained their second consecutive loss to a South West Division rival.
But behind a 22-point performance from Christian Wood, the Rockets sustained a 120-107 loss to the Pelicans inside the Toyota Center.
With the loss, the Rockets fell to 15-37 on the season, while the Pelicans tied their four-game regular-season series against Houston at 1-1 apiece.
Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram was a nuisance to the Rockets — which has become a continuous theme for the Duke prodigy since he arrived in New Orleans amid the trade that since Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in July of 2019.
Ingram finished the night with a game-high 33 points, which marked his sixth time over the previous seven games the Pelicans’ forward scored 20 or more points. Ingram came into the game averaging 27.8 points against the Rockets in New Orleans.
Ingram gave the Rockets significant problems during the 36 minutes he played, but second-year big man Jaxson Hayes was the most prominent headache for Houston.
Hayes dominated on the inside by scoring 21 points, which was surprising given the fact that the Rockets started Alperen Şengün alongside Wood in the loss. Şengün started in place of Eric Gordon, who was out due to a heel injury. The Pelicans recorded 50 points in the paint against Houston.
In Gordon’s absence, five players scored in double figures for the Rockets in addition to Wood. Garrison Mathews and Jalen Green added 18, while Jae’Sean Tate scored 15 points in the Rockets’ loss.
Kevin Porter Jr. made his return to the lineup against the Pelicans after an illness caused the third-year guard to miss the second half of Friday’s loss against the Spurs. Houston’s starting point guard was a shell of himself, as he finished the game with eight points on three of 10 shooting from the field.
After the loss, the Rockets will attempt to end their two-game losing streak on Tuesday against the now 21-32 Pelicans. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT inside the Smoothie King Center.