Rockets hope to slow hot-shooting Hornets

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The Charlotte Hornets have found their shooting touch.

They matched a franchise record on Friday by hitting 23 shots from 3-point range, and they will aim to keep that momentum going Saturday night when they visit the Houston Rockets.

Hornets coach James Borrego would like to keep the style of play that he has seen recently.

“The unselfish spirit was there, the ball movement was there and this profile has been there for the last 10 games,” Borrego said.

The Rockets, surprisingly, have something to build on as well. They have won two games all season, but one of the wins came in the most recent game — a 118-113 home decision against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

“It feels good to win, but it feels so much better for those guys,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said.

The Saturday contest comes in the middle game of Houston’s three-game homestand.

The 118 points Houston put up against Chicago was the Rockets’ second-highest total of the season. The team’s high mark was 124 points in the second game of the season, when Houston defeated the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yet there’s an evolving situation with the Rockets, who are not likely to establish a permanent starting lineup.

“I think it’s trending toward ‘no’ and being more based on who we’re playing and what their strengths are,” Silas said.

The Rockets were celebrating the fact that they made 17 shots from 3-point range against the Bulls, matching their season high.

The Hornets easily topped that total Friday en route to their third win of the week, more victories than the Rockets have produced all season.

Charlotte owns an 8-1 record in its past nine games. The Hornets are off to a 3-1 start to an eight-game stretch that sees them play seven road games. The lone home game was Friday night.

The Hornets shot 55.7 percent against the Timberwolves, their best rate of the season. That translated to a season-high point total.

Twelve players scored for the Hornets on Friday night.

“It’s the most fun form of basketball when everyone’s getting involved, everyone’s scoring, everyone gets touches,” Charlotte forward Gordon Hayward said.

Charlotte’s totals included 27 points from reserve Kelly Oubre Jr., who tied a career high by sinking seven 3-pointers. He said good spacing and ball movement resulted in the team’s splendid perimeter shooting.

Of course, he did his part.

“I’m a very confident individual,” Oubre said. “It doesn’t waver no matter what. Whenever my name is called, I’m ready.”

The Hornets scored at least 30 points in every quarter, so it was a consistent flow of offense.

Both teams might hold different layers of confidence heading into the Saturday game.

“We can’t be the team that’s like tight and tense and worried,” Silas said. “We have to make sure we’re doing things the right way.”

Charlotte will be facing a third consecutive opponent that doesn’t have a winning record.

The Hornets have won their past three meetings with the Rockets after Houston took each of the previous seven in the series.

–Field Level Media

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