Jalen Green nets 36 points as Rockets hammer Hornets

Jalen Green scored 36 points and the Houston Rockets broke out of a funk with a 138-104 road victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Green kept the Rockets in the game in the first half and then had plenty of help in Houston’s 83-point second half.

Cam Whitmore had 24 points, aided by four 3-pointers, and 11 rebounds off the bench, Fred VanVleet scored 14 points, Dillon Brooks had 12 and Alperen Sengun added 11 points and seven assists for the Rockets, who had lost five of their previous six games.

The Rockets shot 56.2 percent from the field. Green went 12-for-20 from the field and sank 11 of 12 free-throw attempts.

Miles Bridges scored 21 points, LaMelo Ball had 15, Nick Richards 14 and P.J. Washington 12 points for the Hornets, who shot only 41.2 percent from the field. Nick Smith Jr. had 10 points off the bench.

Richards, who was in his second game back from an ankle injury, managed seven rebounds, but the Rockets owned the boards 53-32.

This was the Hornets’ first home game since trading Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat on Monday. Newly acquired Kyle Lowry has yet to make his debut with Charlotte.

The Rockets broke free from a two-point lead in the third quarter. They went up by double figures and didn’t let up. Green posted the final six points of a 9-0 run that made it 81-64. Houston’s edge was 99-78 through three quarters.

The margin surpassed 40 points in the fourth quarter. Green played only 28 minutes.

Houston led 55-53 at halftime despite shooting 3-for-19 on 3-pointers.

After scoring only 14 points in the fourth quarter in Wednesday night’s loss at Detroit, the Hornets had a solid start by racking up 28 in the first quarter on Friday. They didn’t reach that mark again in any of the other quarters.

The Rockets completed a season sweep of Charlotte after winning 128-119 at home on Nov. 1.