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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions


Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Gregory going to treatment after another drug violation

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

A look at the trade market for center fielders

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Redskins camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

Durant shopped for OKC home week before joining Warriors?

Jarron, Jason Collins speak in support of LGBTQ rights at DNC

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker