The Houston Rockets were down by five points with nine minutes left, but roared back behind 14 fourth-quarter points from Patrick Patterson to soundly defeat the visiting Charlotte Bobcats, 109-95.
James Harden registered his first career triple-double and two other Rockets had double-doubles as Houston sprinted past the stunned Bobcats in the final minutes.
The Rockets enjoyed an 11-point halftime advantage, but a solid third quarter and an early spurt by the Bobcats in the opening minutes of the final period put a Houston victory in serious doubt.
It's hard to know how big an effect it had, but Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's scary injury, which required him to be removed on a stretcher after being knocked out cold by an inadvertent knee to the head, seemed to visibly deflate the Bobcats.
Charlotte led at the time MKG went down in the fourth, but simply shut down after the frightening injury to its rookie forward.
Houston played excellent transition offense all game, netting a total of 28 fast break points and consistently beating the lackadaisical Bobcats down the floor.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points, but his team shot just 41 percent overall and suffered a crushing defeat on the glass. Houston out-rebounded Charlotte by a margin of 50-35.
The Rockets moved to 26-23 with the win, but their flaws (transition defense in particular) should give coach Kevin McHale some serious pause. It shouldn't have taken a furious fourth-quarter comeback to vanquish the lowly Bobcats—especially at home.
Charlotte fell to 11-35 in defeat.
Final Score: Rockets 109, Bobcats 95