Rockets rally to beat Pelicans 107-98

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm •  Published: December 28, 2013

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets had trouble hitting shots and finding a rhythm through the first three quarters against New Orleans on Saturday night, doing just enough to hang with the Pelicans.

In the fourth, the Rockets — led by James Harden and Jeremy Lin for a second straight game — were able to finish things off.

Dwight Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds, and Harden scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter in the Rockets' 107-98 comeback victory.

"It was winning time," Harden said. "I was struggling the first three quarters and couldn't find the rhythm when my teammates needed me the most. We got the ball moving and Jeremy made a couple of good threes. Chandler (Parsons) had a good put back and then Dwight got an and-one. Everybody picked up the intensity a little bit."

It was the second straight game Houston rallied in the fourth for a win and marked the first time since December 2009 that the Rockets have won three straight games within the division. Houston beat San Antonio on Christmas and topped Memphis on Thursday night.

"We didn't shoot it well," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "I know at one time I looked up, I thought we were two for 19 from the three-point line. It felt like they made every three. They were 10 for 22. ... We found a way to win, but it was another in a long line of games that feel like you are pulling teeth."

Howard was 10 of 12 from the floor, helping to keep Houston in the game through the first three quarters with 20 points in that span.

"I just tried to play out of the double team," Howard said. "When they doubled, I tried to make the good play, and when they didn't double, I tried to make the better play for myself."

Parsons added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Terrence Jones had 17 points and eight rebounds to help Houston win its third straight game and snap New Orleans' winning streak at two.

Lin had all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter after scoring 14 of his 18 points in the fourth against Memphis. The Rockets made three of five 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter after going 3 of 21 from long range in the first three quarters.