Hayes also dished out seven assists and added nine points for Houston, which has won two in a row and split the season series with Charlotte. Chase Budinger added 19 points while Patrick Patterson posted 12 points and 10 rebounds for the victors.
D.J. Augustin paced Charlotte with 22 points and Boris Diaw added 13 points as the Bobcats had a two-game winning streak snapped and lost for the seventh time in nine games.
The Rockets only shot 41 percent from the field in the contest but used a commanding 51-37 rebounding advantage to control the lead for the entire game.
The score remained close in the opening minutes of the first, but Houston took control in the closing moments, taking a 29-19 lead with 25.5 seconds left. Augustin capped the first quarter with a layup and three-point conversion, putting the Rockets’ advantage at 29-22 after one.
Houston held the Bobcats to only 17 points in the second quarter, but due to a subpar 40 percent performance from the field, the Rockets were only able to widen their lead to 49-39 entering the locker room.
Budinger supplied seven of Houston’s 19 third quarter points, extending its lead to 68-57 entering the final stanza. The Bobcats were able to trim their deficit to as low as six, 76-70, just over the mid point of the fourth quarter, but the Rockets ended the game on an 18-8 run to seal the victory.
Jordan Hill added 10 points and six boards in a reserve role for Houston…Charlotte shot 37.2 percent from the field…Hayes’ rebounds tied a season high…The Bobcats committed 15 turnovers that the Rockets turned into 16 points.