RECAP: Charlotte Hornets’ long-range accuracy sinks Rockets

By Field Level Media
Mar 24, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk (1) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard Ben McLemore (16) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham got hot from long range as the visiting Charlotte Hornets turned an explosive third quarter into a 122-97 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Rozier scored 25 points while Graham tallied 21 as the Charlotte starting backcourt finished a combined 10 for 17 from behind the arc.

Graham, starting his second consecutive game in place of injured rookie LaMelo Ball, drilled 6 of 9 3-point attempts as the Hornets improved to 17-0 when leading entering the fourth quarter. Charlotte finished 18 of 38 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range.

Houston, which snapped a 20-game losing streak on Monday by beating the Toronto Raptors, pulled even at 55-55 on a Danuel House Jr. 3-pointer with 38.8 seconds remaining in the first half. However, Rozier answered with three free throws following a House foul to give Charlotte the lead entering the break, and the Hornets opened the second half in top offensive form to pull away.

After Charlotte pushed the lead to 65-55 with a quick 7-0 burst, Graham sank a pair of treys before Rozier converted two layups to build the advantage to 75-61 at the 7:29 mark. The Rockets called timeout but couldn’t stem the tide as Rozier added a 3-pointer immediately thereafter before a Bismack Biyombo dunk pushed the lead to 19 points.

Malik Monk hit a 3-pointer later in the period and Graham converted a four-point play with 1:16 left in the frame, extending the Charlotte lead to 93-68.

The Hornets shot 14 of 18 in the third, including 6 of 10 from deep. The Rockets, meanwhile, missed 10 of 12 3-point attempts in the period and trailed by 23 entering the fourth after being even late in the second.

On the night, Monk posted 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. P.J. Washington recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which improved to 2-0 with Ball unavailable.

The Rockets capped their seven-game homestand 1-6. John Wall paired 20 points with seven assists while Christian Wood added 11 points and 10 boards but missed 10 of 14 field-goal attempts.

–Field Level Media