NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Roger Mason understands playing time is fleeting, especially as a role player, so the New Orleans Hornets guard stays prepared for when he gets the call.
Mason scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night to rally the Hornets to an 88-79 victory over the Houston Rockets.
Mason, who played 26 seconds in the first half and did not play in a victory over San Antonio on Monday, made all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers for the Hornets, who have won three in the row for the first time this season.
"I just keep working, staying in the game, and I feel good," said Mason, who averages just over five points.
"I didn't play much in the first half but to be a good pro you have to always be ready," he added. "God gave me the strength to hit some good shots."
Greivis Vasquez and Jason Smith also scored 17 points for the Hornets, and Robin Lopez chipped in with 14.
James Harden scored 25 points for the Rockets, who had won 10 of their past 12 games and five in a row. Harden, who was held to three points in the final quarter when the Rockets were outscored 29-10, was the only Houston player in double figures.
Jeremy Lin scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting and have five assists for the Rockets, who committed 23 turnovers.
New Orleans also controlled the boards, outrebounding Houston 46-39, 16-10 on the offensive glass. Al-Farouq Aminu and Smith each had 10 rebounds.
"Any time a team gets that many offensive rebounds it's going to be hard to run," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We were not sharp tonight. We couldn't get anything going in that fourth quarter and it just ballooned from there."
Eric Gordon struggled with five points on 2-of-12 shooting, but the Hornets have won four of five since his return.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans' 3-point specialist, was 0 of 7 from the field, including 0 of 4 from behind the arc.
No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, who along with Lopez did not play in the fourth quarter, had six points and three rebounds.