Rockets 104, Hornets 92: James Harden collected 31 points and Omer Asik matched a career high with 21 and eight rebounds as host Houston posted its seventh win in nine outings.
Patrick Patterson added 15 points off the bench on 7-of-8 shooting from the field as the Rockets won for the 12th time in their last 15 home contests.
Ryan Anderson had 18 points and Greivis Vasquez recorded 15 and 14 assists for the Hornets, who fell for the fourth straight time and eighth in 11 meetings in Houston.
Anderson's jumper pulled New Orleans within four at 92-88 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Chandler Parsons answered with a layup and Patterson did the same before drilling his team's fourth 3-pointer to extend Houston's advantage to 11.
With the Rockets nursing a 49-44 halftime lead, Harden scored seven of his team's first 10 points to extend the cushion to nine. Asik sank a pair of jumpers and added two free throws as Houston seized a 65-54 advantage midway through the third quarter.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Harden has recorded 10 straight contests with at least 25 points. Hall of Famer Moses Malone holds the franchise record with 13 consecutive games. ... Both teams made just one 3-pointer during the first half. Houston did so on 11 attempts, while New Orleans took just four shots from beyond the arc. ... The Rockets punished the Hornets with a 60-28 edge in points in the paint.