Scola, Dragic lead Rockets' rout of Charlotte
HOUSTON — Luis Scola scored 23 points, Goran Dragic had 14 points and 10 assists and the Houston Rockets routed the NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats 107-87 on Wednesday night.
Samuel Dalembert added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordan Hill scored 14 and grabbed eight rebounds for the Rockets, who've won two in a row after dropping six of their previous seven games.
Derrick Brown scored 15 to lead the Bobcats, who've lost 20 of 23 road games this season.
Houston followed up an unlikely win in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night with one of its most efficient offensive performances. The Rockets finished one shy of their season high in assists (27) and shot 55 percent overall (45 of 84) from the field.
The Rockets went 6 for 9 from 3-point range and got away with 18 turnovers by outrebounding the Bobcats 46-30.
Houston hit three of its first four 3-point attempts to quickly build an 11-point lead. Charlotte put up little defensive resistance and went cold before the first quarter ended, missing seven consecutive shots.
The Rockets shot 56.5 percent (13 of 23) in the opening quarter and led 30-18. The Bobcats missed 12 of their 19 shots in the quarter, including all three of their 3-point attempts.
Houston stretched the gap to 16 with mostly reserves on the floor in the first three minutes of the second quarter. Backup forward Patrick Patterson hit his first three shots, and Hill added a pair of baskets. Hill missed Tuesday night's win in Oklahoma City with flulike symptoms.
D.J. Augustin sank a 3, then dished to Reggie Williams for a layup and an eventual three-point play at the end of a 13-2 burst that cut the deficit to 41-36. Houston scored on back-to-back fast breaks to restore the double-digit cushion.
Chase Budinger just beat the buzzer with a jumper from the free-throw line and Houston led 50-40 at the break. Charlotte shot 37 percent (14 of 38) in the first half and got outrebounded 22-16.
The Rockets opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run to match their biggest lead to that point. Scola had 10 points over the first five minutes of the quarter, and Houston scored 36 points, a season high for a third quarter, to extend the lead to 29.
Dalembert threw a long pass to Dragic, who flipped to Chandler Parsons for a dunk, the most dazzling play of the night. Dalembert dunked alley-oop passes from Scola and then Dragic later in the quarter, as the Bobcats' defense continued to disintegrate.
Scola scored 14 points and Dalembert had 10 in the third quarter. Houston hit 15 of 19 shots and outrebounded Charlotte 13-4 in the quarter to lead 86-57 heading to the fourth. Houston had four of five starters on the bench, and Charlotte had all its starters out when the final quarter began.
Houston guard Courtney Lee, starting in place of the injured Kevin Martin, strained a tendon in his left hand in the fourth quarter and did not return.
Rockets PG Kyle Lowry missed his fourth game with a bacterial infection and Martin sat out for the second straight game with a strained right shoulder. ... The Rockets are 16-6 against the Eastern Conference this season. ... The Bobcats are 1-32 when trailing after three quarters. ... Bobcats F Eduardo Najera (right knee inflammation) missed his second straight game.