Hornets-Rockets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 25, 2012
The Houston Rockets' dropoff in the stretch run has kept them out of the playoffs for a third straight year. The New Orleans Hornets contributed to that slide. Visiting New Orleans seeks its eighth victory in 10 meetings with Houston when the teams conclude their seasons Thursday night. The Rockets (33-32) were in contention for a playoff berth after winning eight of 11 from March 20-April 9. Their season quickly took a turn, though, as a 1-7 record since has put an end to their playoff hopes. Houston, coming off a 97-88 loss to Miami on Sunday, had a respectable showing under first-year coach Kevin McHale despite injuries to Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry. The players will have missed a combined 45 games after both sit out the finale. ''Failure is a horrible word. I don't like it and I don't consider (the season) a failure,'' said big man Luis Scola, who leads the team in total points. ''Our goal was to make the playoffs and we are hurt because we couldn't qualify. But a failure? No, I don't see it that way.'' Rookie Chandler Parsons set a career high with 23 points Sunday, but it proved to be a bittersweet effort for him. ''Fortunately, I hit shots,'' Parsons said. ''My teammates got me open. I just hate losing so at the end it doesn't matter how well I played. A loss is a loss.'' Goran Dragic scored 23 points and Chase Budinger added 22, but Parsons went 1 for 9 from the field and scored three points in a 105-99 overtime loss to New Orleans last Thursday. That was Houston's sixth straight defeat. Eric Gordon scored 27 points for the Hornets in that contest, but he won't play in the finale. Gordon, acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers as the centerpiece of the offseason deal for Chris Paul, averaged 20.6 points but played in only nine games and had arthroscopic knee surgery. Marco Belinelli had a game-high 23 points in New Orleans' 83-81 win Tuesday, scoring on a goaltending call with 1.5 seconds remaining. The Hornets (21-44) are finishing a rebuilding season strongly, having won six of eight. ''I think it's important to win,'' Belinelli said. ''I don't care if it's one or two more games in the season, lottery pick, I don't care. I just want to get a win. That's the mentality we need to have.'' New Orleans hasn't had much trouble earning wins against Houston in recent years, with the victory last week being its seventh in nine meetings. Four of the last five matchups have been decided by six or fewer points and three have gone to overtime - including the last two. The Rockets won 90-88 in OT behind 32 points from Martin in the most recent meeting in Houston on Jan. 19. That ended New Orleans' three-game road winning streak in the series. A Rockets victory Thursday will give them a winning record for each of the last three seasons despite missing the playoffs each time.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

Chicago White Sox: Impact of Mat Latos signing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clippers suspend Blake Griffin four games

St. Louis mayor says city is moving on from NFL

Report: Hawks could entertain trading core players at deadline

Arthur Blank diagnosed with prostate cancer

Browns deny coverup of Manziel showing up drunk at practice

Jimmy Butler will miss 3-4 weeks with knee strain

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

Michael Jordan’s rep comments on the crying meme

10 NBA teams that could be active at the trade deadline

‘The X-Files’ takes a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers

Ranking the top 50 NFL players slated to become free agents

Jay Williams advocates for pot as painkiller for athletes

Photographer uninjured in SB collision with Corey Brown

Did Messi outbid Ronaldo for most expensive car?

Newton erotic novella ‘Dabbin’ with Cam’ released on Amazon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker