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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Rockets score 7 pts in 4th quarter in 119-94 loss to Hornets
POSTED: February 9, 2021 -- 10:20 a.m. CT
CHARLOTTE, NC (Spectrum Center) -- During this COVID-19 2020-2021 NBA season, with all of the different starting lineups the Houston Rockets have had thus far, one factor has become clear: the Rockets need John Wall in the game. Wall did not play in Monday's 119-94 road loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Wall sat out the game as part of injury maintenance.
Eric Gordon (rest) and Christian Wood (sprained right ankle) also missed the game. Those three players are probably Houston's most important players on both ends of the court. Gordon scores 18 points per game. Wall averages nearly 19 points per game along with 6 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Wood averages 22 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
Before the game, Rockets Head Coach Stephen Silas said the Rockets would have to find points from somewhere.
Without them Monday night, the fourth quarter proved to be a worst-case scenario. The Rockets tied a franchise-record for fewest points in a quarter with 7 points in the fourth quarter.
SEVEN. In 12 minutes. That's it.
Houston made 2 shots in the fourth quarter. Two. Houston missed 17 shots in the fourth. SEVENTEEN.
The Rockets trailed 82-74 in the third quarter but rallied to tie the game at 87 on a layup by rookie Jae'Sean Tate. Tate's layup happened with 23.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Charlotte's Malik Monk hit a 3-pointer to end the quarter. Houston trailed 90-87 after 3 periods.
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Jae'Sean Tate's layup was Houston's last made field goal until Victor Oladipo made a three-point shot with 4:16 remaining in the game. Houston missed 11 consecutive field goals. Meanwhile, the Hornets lit up the scoreboard with 19 points (7 for 12 field goals) in 7 plus minutes.
Houston's woeful fourth quarter erased a solid, solid performance by the Rockets' bench brigade of Ben McLemore, Danuel House Jr, Sterling Brown, and David Nwaba. That foursome scored 24 of Houston's 33 points in the second quarter. McLemore scored 15 of the 24.
Oladipo led the Rockets with 21 points. He added 7 rebounds and 6 assists. McLemore scored 15 off the bench. Jae'Sean Tate and Danuel House Jr each scored 13.
Charlotte rookie LaMelo Ball scored a game-high 24 points. Ball made a career-high 7 three-pointers (12 attempts) and added 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward each scored 19 points. Terry Rozier scored 15; Malik Monk scored 14; and, Cody Zeller added 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Wall and Gordon are expected to play Tuesday night versus the Pelicans.
The Hornets (12-13) made 19 of 41 three-point attempts while the Rockets made 13 of 47 shots from three.
Houston (11-12) has lost two consecutive games and three of 4.
The Rockets' next game is Tuesday, February 9, on the road, against the New Orleans Pelicans. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Central Time.
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