After a strong start to a difficult home stretch, the New Orleans Hornets couldn't meet the challenge in their last two games.
Things aren't likely to be as tough in the finale Sunday night against the injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers, who are mired in their worst losing streak of the season.
The Hornets (25-48) lost to Golden State and beat Boston to open this season-high seven-game homestand before facing four straight games against four of the league's top six teams record-wise. That stretch began with victories over Memphis and Denver, which had entered with a 15-game winning streak.
New Orleans, however, couldn't keep its string of upsets going, falling to the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami by a combined 33 points in its last two.
The Southwest Division-worst Hornets appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time against the league-best Heat on Friday. After having its 27-game win streak stopped two days earlier, Miami made 60.9 percent from the field and 14 for 27 from ...