The Rockets arrived at the Hive as Charlotte returned from Detroit and the drubbing they suffered there. Al Jefferson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Lance Stephenson, and Cody Zeller remained inactive while PJ Hairston joined the list after a knee sprain in the closing minutes against the Pistons.
With only 10 active players, Charlotte started Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Jeffery Taylor, Marvin Williams, and Bismack Biyombo. Dwight Howard missed the game for the Rockets but Houston still boasted MVP candidate James Harden.
Charlotte got off to an early 11-7 lead due to three early fast-break baskets and the Rockets' 3-of-12 start from the field. Houston finished 1-of-10 from behind the arc in the first quarter but still left the quarter behind with a lead, 24-23.
Houston then proceeded to open the second quarter with an 8-0 run, giving them a 32-23 lead and forcing Steve Clifford to call a timeout with 9:41 left until halftime. Out of the timeout, the Hornets went on to outscore the Rockets 18-8 and took a lead of their own, 41-40, with 4:15 left in the half. Houston would tie the score at 52 with under a minute to play in the second and that's how the two teams would go to the locker room.
Eight points off turnovers and three consecutive 3-pointers by Brian Roberts helped the Hornets keep pace with a Houston team that is battling for a better seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
In the second half, James Harden's free throw attempts started to pile up. No one in the league gets to the line more than the Beard and it showed tonight. Midway through the third quarter, Harden had 14 free throw attempts to Charlotte's 11. Fueled by freebies, the Rockets entered the fourth quarter with an 83-75 lead.
Charlotte tried to shoot themselves back into it with Brian Roberts and Troy Daniels each connecting on couple of treys in the fourth but Houston always seemed to have an answer. Those continuous answers were too much the Houston closed out Charlotte's season at the Hive, 100-90.
Roberts led the way with 23 points after connecting on a career-high five 3-pointers. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson combined to go 3-of-20 from the field for six points and both nearly played 30 minutes. Noah Vonleh didn't have the scoring output he had against Detroit as he went 1-of-8 from the floor for four points but he grabbed seven rebounds. Jeffery Taylor and Troy Daniels had 16 and 15 points respectively. Biymobo had a near double-double as he tallied nine points and 13 rebounds but he also added three blocks to an impressive night. Charlotte mad 13 3-pointers tonight, a season-high.
The Hornets wrap up the season Wednesday night at Toronto, a game that for some reason will be televised on ESPN.