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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Christian Wood's 27 leads Rockets in rout of Pelicans
POSTED: January 31, 2021 -- 8:37 a.m. CT
NEW ORLEANS, LA (Smoothie King Center) -- The Houston Rockets erupted for 48 points in the second quarter Saturday night in a 126-112 road win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Houston's massive second quarter erased an 11 point first quarter deficit and turned into an 18 point lead at halftime.
Houston has won 5 consecutive games to improve to 9-9 this season.
The Pelicans (7-11) jumped on the Rockets in the first quarter and led 35-24 after forward Zion Williamson made a rare three-point basket. However, Rockets' forward Danuel House Jr. sank a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Rockets some momentum going to the second quarter trailing 35-27.
Houston's offense exploded in the second stanza with great ball movement and scalding hot shooting. The Rockets shoot 66.7% (16 for 24) from the floor in the period including 75.0% (9 for 12) from three point range. Houston assisted on 87.5% of its baskets (14 assists on 16 baskets).
Houston outscored New Orleans 48-22 in the second quarter. Christian Wood and Victor Oladipo each scored 16 points in the quarter. Wood Oladipo combined to make 11 of 14 field goals (6 for 7 threes) in the second period.
Houston led New Orleans 75-57 at halftime.
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The Rockets' lead grew to 22 (85-63) after a three-point basket by guard John Wall at the 9:40 mark of the third quarter. However, Houston's hot shooting cooled off considerably with 11 straight misses and New Orleans chopped into Houston's big lead and got as close as 8 (86-78) with 4:48 remaining in the third.
Houston rookie Jae'Sean Tate made a three-point shot to end the Rockets' field goal drought. Teammate David Nwaba followed with a three-point basket to boost Houston's lead to 97-80. The Rockets led the Pelicans 99-84 at the end of the third period.
New Orleans center Jaxson Hayes made 2 free throws to start the scoring in the fourth and reduced Houston's lead to 13 (99-86). The Pelicans would get no closer the rest of the ball game.
Houston's Eric Gordon scored six points during a 12-2 run to increase Houston's lead to 23 (111-88). The Rockets led by as much as 24 in the final period and cruised to the 14 point victory.
Wood finished the game with 27 points and 9 rebounds in 27 minutes. Oladipo scored 20 points and added 6 rebounds and 7 assists in less than 25 minutes. John Wall scored 15 points and dished out 9 assists in 26 minutes. Eric Gordon scored 14 points and handed out 4 assists in nearly 23 minutes off the bench. Jae'Sean Tate scored 13 points and equaled Wood's 9 rebounds in nearly 24 minutes.
Houston had 32 assists on 45 field goals.
The Rockets' next game is scheduled for Monday, February 1, in Oklahoma City, versus the Thunder. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central Time.
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