Turnovers and Fouls Plague Pelicans in Loss to Rockets


Despite a hot start in the first quarter by New Orleans, careless turnovers and fouls led to the Houston Rockets defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 108-101, Wednesday evening in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

With the loss, the Pelicans (4-15) dropped to 2-9 on the road, 0-2 in the Southwest Division and earned their fourth-straight loss. The Pelicans committed 23 turnovers and 32 fouls in the contest.

The two teams traded baskets to start the fourth quarter before the Rockets went on a 10-0 run to take a 96-87 lead with 5:03 left in the game.

Following a timeout, the Pelicans narrowed the Rockets lead to 99-94. The Rockets, then, converted offensively in clutch situations down the stretch to pull away from Pelicans to earn the victory.

For the game, the Pelicans shot 41 percent from the floor, 88 percent from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Rockets 64-53.

The Rockets shot 41 percent from the floor, 72 percent from the charity stripe but committed only 10 turnovers in the game.

Anthony Davis led the Pelicans in scoring and rebounding, finishing the game with 29 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Ryan Anderson, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden led the Rockets in scoring and rebounding with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pelicans jumped out to an early 13-4 lead before the Rockets called a timeout with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter.

After the timeout, the Rockets found their groove on offense.

The Pelicans, however, continued to spread the ball around on offense and converted on shot opportunities to lead 29-17 at the end of the first quarter.

Dec 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In the second quarter, after both teams shared baskets, the Rockets went on an 8-3 run to cut the Pelicans lead to 36-27.

Following a timeout, the Rockets went on a 15-2 run to further cut the Pelicans deficit to 38-37. The Pelicans added a free throw before the Rockets continued to score and eventually take their first lead of the game, 40-39.

The Pelicans fought back, going on a 7-0 run to take a 46-40 lead. Davis and Tyreke Evans got to the free throw line for points as well as Davis earning a field goal from the floor. The Rockets, then, fought back and narrowed the Pelicans lead to 50-48 at halftime.

During the first half, the Pelicans shot 40 percent from the field, outrebounded the Rockets 32-23 but committed nine turnovers that led to eight points for the Rockets in the half. The Rockets shot a dismal 36 percent from the field but committed only two turnovers.

Dec 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives the ball during the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Davis led the Pelicans in scoring and rebounding with 13 points and eight rebounds. For the Rockets, Terrence Jones led the team in scoring with 11 points at the half.

The Rockets opened in the third quarter on a 11-4 run, taking a 59-54 lead. The Pelicans responded with a 7-2 run to regain the lead, 63-61, before the Rockets called a timeout. The Pelicans committed more careless turnovers, allowing the Rockets to take a 75-70 lead.

In the final minutes of the quarter, the Rockets continued to increase their lead, taking a 75-84 lead. The Pelicans ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the Rockets lead to 84-82.

The Pelicans return to action on Friday at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.