The New Orleans Pelicans Guard Lonzo Ball (2) shoots a three-point basket against Houston Rockets striker Danuel House Jr. (4) first Half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, December 29, 2019. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS – Lonzo Ball resolutely pulled from the left wing to lower his career-high seventh 3-pointer in a single game, then slid back to the defensive end of the pelicans and struck coach Alvin Gentry with the outstretched hand on the thundering hand roar filled the arena.
Ball showed growing confidence in its modified shooting stroke and scored 27 points in the season. On Sunday evening, New Orleans beat the understaffed Houston Rockets 127-112 for the fourth time in a row.
“I knew it wouldn't happen overnight. This is a new shot for me, ”said Ball, who had a slow start to the season but made a total of 11 3's in two games over the weekend. "Hopefully it can become consistent over time."
E & # 39; Twaun Moore scored five threes and a season high of 25 points in a reserve role for New Orleans. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, he was nine points behind before suddenly taking full control of a Houston squad without his three most productive players: James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela.
Brandon Ingram scored 27 and Jrue Holiday 25 for the Pelicans starting the new year after winning five of six games and awaiting the debut of Zion Williamson, the number 1 draft. Derek Favors had 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Daniel House Jr. scored 22 points and Eric Gordon, who returned in mid-November for the first time since right knee arthroscopic surgery, added 20 points.
"I just want to keep building on it," said Gordon. “We played well tonight. It's just that things got tough towards the end and we kind of fell over. We have a lot of young people playing out there, but everyone played well and I'm sure we'll be fine. "
Isaiah Hartenstein started in his first career with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who shot down 51.9% (42 of 81), scored 15 3 and led a large part of the first three quarters.
"I just have to use my options," said Hartenstein. "I think I did a pretty good job."
Houston led 95-86 to Gordon's fourth-quarter opener, but the pelicans suddenly took over with an 18-1 run, fueled by Moore, which emptied four threes and one knight within 3:04.
“Big games like this that come from the bank are huge and make you a complete team. E’Twaun got out and picked us up, ”said Holiday, whose 12 points in the fourth quarter were only second only to Moores 14.
When Moore finally missed a 3 from the front edge, Holiday flew down the alley to pop her home with two hands. Ball, who also had nine rebounds and eight assists, was able to complete the run with an Austin Rivers steal, which he converted to a transition layup to score 104-96.
Harden, who had been classified as questionable with a sprained toe at 44 after a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, was struck off the lineup for the first time this season.
The rockets still started offensive quickly when Gordon scored a 3 for the first points of the game and hit another to give the rockets a 37-36 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The fifth ball of the game was a tie 64 seconds before the end of the half.
Ingram, who came to New Orleans with Ball and Josh Hart from Los Angeles this summer to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers, said it was "exciting to see how work for Ball pays off" Not only did his shot change but he also had to build strength in his legs after missing from ankle problems at the end of last season.
"This is the trust for him to keep shooting basketball, to distribute it to everyone and to be just him," said Ingram.
Missiles: Chris Clemons had 16 points and 10 assists, but missed seven out of 11 3-point shots. … Ben McLemore finished with 12 points. … Center Tyson Chandler was active, but coach Mike D’Antoni decided not to play him. … Houston used only eight players in the game.
Pelicans: Shot 49% (50 out of 102) and finished 18 out of 44 from the 3-point range, which meant 10 of their last 19 points. New Orleans surpassed Houston 47-41, converting 17 Houston sales to 23 points, while it only used nine sales. … The pelicans still have to estimate when Williamson will return from arthroscopic knee surgery the day before the start of the regular season, but he was increasingly active in warm-up exercises and exercises, doing 5-on-0 exercises and striking.
The pelicans were ahead of Rockets 41-19 in the fourth quarter, and Moore indicated that New Orleans intensified its defense efforts, particularly around the 3-point line.
"That's what they do is shoot 3s," said Moore. "They wouldn't stop missing. We had to miss them."
Rockets: Host Denver on Tuesday evening.
Pelicans: Take a four-day break before taking action against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday evening.
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