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Charlotte Hornets v Houston Rockets

Source: Carmen Mandato / Getty

Shooting woes on offense and three-point defense continued to plague the Hornets, as they dropped their third straight contest, losing 128-119 to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

The Rockets, who came in fourth from the bottom in three-point shooting, made a season-high 21 three pointers with all five starters scoring in double figures.

Charlotte’s offense started slowly Wednesday, with PJ Washington hitting five threes to pace them most of the night for a team-high 23 points. Terry Rozier added 21, while LaMelo Ball had 17 points, scoring 11 of them in the fourth quarter.

After Head Coach Steve Clifford professed that his team would pick up right where they left off at the end of the season defensively, it has been anything but that output to start the 23-24 season.

Clifford hasn’t hit the panic button, however.

“There’s things we have to be better at,” Clifford said. “The worst thing you can do is overreact, we’ve played four games.”

The Hornets once again started behind the eight ball, allowing 39 points in the opening quarter after surrendering 42 to open their last contest against Brooklyn. Charlotte stiffened up on defense in the second quarter, and showed some of its best play of the season, closing the period on a 23-8 run to cut the Houston lead to one possession by halftime, 61-58.

Houston built the lead back with a 19-7 run in the third quarter, and while the Hornets made a final run in the fourth, they couldn’t get closer than a five-point deficit the rest of the evening.

The Hornets (1-3), continue their road trip on Saturday with the first half of a back-to-back in Indiana, before heading back to Texas to see the Mavericks Sunday. Coverage on Saturday in Indiana begins at 6 PM on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ.