The New Orleans Hornets trailed by 21 early in the 3rd quarter, but kept chipping away at the Houston Rockets. In the end, the fleur-de-bees comeback bid came up short on Wednesday night, as they fell on the road by the score of 100-96.

The two biggest reasons for defeat: the second quarter and James Harden.

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

New Orleans outscored Houston in three quarters. However, they were blown out in a dreadful second quarter when the Rockets scored 39 to the Hornets 18. Houston shot 58% in the second period. New Orleans was a dismal 28%. The Rockets ended the quarter on a 17-5 run. Despite the rough quarter, the Hornets fought back, cutting the deficit to two after a Greivis Vasquez 3 pointer with less than two minutes to go.

"When you have a quarter like that, it's hard to rebound," New Orleans coach Monty Williams noted in postgame. "But I thought the guys on our team showed a lot of guts and character, getting back in the game."

James Harden scored 30 for Houston. His offensive skills were on full display. Pick-and-pop, driving to the basket, drawing name it he did it. One season after winning 6th man of the year with the Thunder, Harden seems to be comfortable in his role as the go-to guy for the Rockets.

Vasquez (pictured) was fantastic for the Hornets in a losing effort. The starting point guard led New Orleans in scoring with a career-high 24 points, dished out 9 assists, pulled down 5 boards, and only turned it over twice. Ryan Anderson had trouble finding his stroke from beyond the arc (2-10), but took his game inside to finish with a solid double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Rookie Anthony Davis struggled to get involved on the offensive end. His 8 points on 2-7 shooting is the lowest output of the season. He did perform on defense with 3 solid blocks. Fellow rookie Austin Rivers started, finishing with 10 points. Also scoring double-figures was Al-Farouq Aminu (14 points).

New Orleans returns home for a Friday night matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tip-off from the Hive is set for 7:00.