Patrick Patterson did not hesitate, contrary to the split second he waited before launching the 3-pointer that put away the Rockets’ victory Wednesday night. Asked about continuing to come off the bench, as he has in three games since missing seven with a bruised foot, he immediately said he wanted his starting job back. Patterson said he would not say a word to coaches, so he went about proving his point another way.
With the Rockets unable to shake the Hornets, Patterson took over a close game down the stretch, sending the Rockets past New Orleans 104-92 at Toyota Center. With the Hornets within six points with three minutes left, Patterson scored on a putback, a 3-pointer and a reverse to give the Rockets a 13-point lead, their largest, and himself a 13-point fourth quarter.
Even before his late-game breakthrough, Patterson, who paired 15 points with a season-high 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes, had his sights set not on finishing games but starting them.