Charlotte Hornets look to split season series vs surging Houston Rockets

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Coming off a tough road loss, the Charlotte Hornets take to the court again, hoping to topple a Houston Rockets team that has won eight straight.

Something Hornets Head Coach James Borrego likes to preach is playing a full four quarters. The Charlotte Hornets (30-36) did not do that Saturday evening against the Milwaukee Bucks.

They started out great, scoring 32 points in the first quarter, but then allowed the Bucks to score 30 or more in the last three quarters. Charlotte ultimately lost the game, allowing Milwaukee to score 131 points.

They’ll need to do a better job if they want to defeat a red hot Houston Rockets (41-25) team on the road. These two teams have already played each other once, back in Charlotte, with the Rockets winning by just five points.

The Hornets overcame a terrible first quarter where they allowed Houston to score 41 points, only to then hold them to 21 points in the second quarter. Alas, The Rockets sealed the deal in the fourth by holding Charlotte to just 19 points.

If the Hornets can pull off an upset, it will be just the second time they’ve split the season series with the Rockets in the past eight years. If they can’t, it will be six straight losses to Houston for Charlotte. Given Houston’s current winning streak, perhaps there’s a chance that their luck will run out.

Charlotte’s last game was a 114-131 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference. Houston’s last contest was a 94-93 win over the Dallas Mavericks. They are 3rd in the West. This is the final game in which these two teams will meet.

Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets
8:00 p.m. EST, Monday, March 11th, 2019
Toyota Center
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:


Jeremy Lamb – Hamstring (Probable)

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Knee (Doubtful)

Marvin Williams– illness (Out)

Cody Zeller – Knee Soreness (Out)


Kenneth Faried – Hip (Game-Time Decision)

Things to watch for:

In what will undoubtedly be a tough match-up, it will be even tougher if the Hornets are without their second best scorer in Lamb and arguably their best defender in MKG. Here’s hoping they can go. If not, expect more minutes from Miles Bridges and possibly Malik Monk.

Away from home, the Rockets managed to shoot 24 free-throws against Charlotte. Of course, much of that is due to James Harden, but it’ll be interesting to see if they get any “home cooking” down in Houston.

Keys to the game:

Harden is going to get his, so there’s not much you can do to stop him, especially if the Hornets don’t have the services of MKG.

What needs to be a focus, however, is stopping everyone else from going off. In the last game against Houston, Charlotte allowed four other Rockets players to score in double figures. The problem arises mostly due to how dynamic of a player Harden is, with how he can beat you shooting, passing, or getting to the line.

It sets up other players to flourish and they did just that against the Hornets.

Houston ranks just 26th in the league in opponent field goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot just over 47% from the floor. That held true in their last game against Charlotte as the Hornets shot, you guessed it, 47%. Getting clean looks and taking high percentage shots should be a priority.

Hot. Kemba Walker "more likely" to leave in free agency. light

Hornets fans sure would love to get revenge on the Rockets after the team lost at home. Beating a powerhouse team like Houston would be a nice shot in the arm for a team still vying for a playoff spot. We’ll see if they can ground the Rockets Monday night in Houston.