NBA regular season

After 15-game skid, Rockets top Pelicans for 6th straight win

After 15-game skid, Rockets top Pelicans for 6th straight win

TURNAROUND. Christian Wood and the Rockets have been on a tear since dropping 15 straight games.

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets survive a season-best performance from Pelicans star Brandon Ingram as they stretch their winning streak

Eric Gordon and Christian Wood scored 23 points apiece and the host Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to six games with a 118-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, December 5 (Monday, December 6, Manila time).

Gordon added 5 assists and Wood 8 rebounds as the Rockets fended off a late Pelicans surge. Brandon Ingram sank a 10-footer with 2:12 remaining to cut what was once a 15-point deficit to 111-105, but Danuel House Jr. responded with a pair of free throws 25 seconds later and Garrison Mathews sank a corner three-pointer with 18.1 seconds left to seal it.

Ingram scored a season-high 40 points to keep the Pelicans afloat while Jonas Valanciunas paired 17 points with 10 rebounds. Willy Hernangomez (10 points, 14 boards) also posted a double-double for the Pelicans, who shot just 42.6% and missed 28 of 38 three-pointers.

Mathews (13 points), Daniel Theis (12 points), Jae’Sean Tate (11 points, 7 assists) and Alperen Sengun (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Rockets, who shot 17-of-40 from deep.

Gordon and Wood combined for 23 points in the third quarter as the Rockets extended to a 15-point lead on a Wood free throw at the 5:55 mark of the period. But Ingram and Nickeil Alexander-Walker sank back-to-back threes to keep the Pelicans within range, and a pair of Ingram free throws just prior to the close of the period enabled the Pelicans to stay within 9 points.

Fueled by 6 Houston turnovers and 7 offensive rebounds, the Pelicans closed the first quarter with a plus-11 advantage on shot attempts. However, those margins only prevented the Rockets from establishing a more comfortable lead, as Houston shot 10-of-18 from the floor while sinking half of its 8 three-pointers to forge a 28-26 advantage entering the second period.

The Rockets maintained their hot shooting, turning a 10-2 run into their largest lead of the half when Armoni Brooks hit a triple with 50.9 seconds left for a 57-44 cushion. That rally included a four-point play from Mathews, and while the Pelicans cut that deficit to 8 points by the break, the Rockets shot 55% prior to the intermission, including 8-for-18 from deep.

The Pelicans’ advantages on the glass, including 13 offensive boards for 10 second-chance points, and their 15 points off 9 Houston turnovers did not offset the Rockets’ shooting. –