In the midst of a six-game losing streak, the Rockets are clinging to a small hope of making the playoffs.
Houston has three games remaining and sits one game out of the playoffs, but is in 10th place behind the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, so the Rockets need a lot of things to go their way. That starts this weekend.
The Rockets welcome Golden State to town on Saturday night. Houston is 20-11 at home, while the Warriors are 10-20 on the road. Playing one of the bottom teams in the Western Conference would normally a good sign, but Houston lost to last-place New Orleans on Thursday night. That's how bad this losing streak has been. So nothing is guaranteed.
On Sunday night, the Rockets travel to Miami to take on the Heat. It is the only matchup this season between the teams. Miami sits in second place in the Eastern Conference and is fighting for the top seed, so both teams could be playing for something.
There is a good chance Houston's playoff hopes could be dashed by the end of the weekend. If the Rockets want any chance of playing in the postseason, they should win both games, which is a tall task.
Looking to climb back into the playoff race, Houston's hopes took a major hit as the Rockets fell to the lowly New Orleans Hornets 105-99 on Thursday night.
The Rockets are now on a six-game losing streak and have dropped from sixth place in the Western Conference to ninth, and they're falling farther away. The Hornets have the worst record in the West, but fought hard in their final home game, sending the locals home for the season happy.
The Rockets led 51-43 at halftime, but came out flat in the third quarter as the Hornets doubled-up Houston 26-13 in the quarter. The Rockets fought back and tied the game with less than three minutes to play in the fourth. Trailing by one with 15 seconds to play, Courtney Lee split a pair of free throws and the game went to overtime. New Orleans opened the half on a 9-2 run over the first four minutes to pull away. The Hornets went 7-for-10 from the free-throw line down the stretch to hold on.
Goran Dragic led Houston with 23 points and eight assists. Marcus Camby scored 14 points in the first half, but didn't score in the second half and finished with just 28 minutes while dealing with a back injury.
The Rockets moved to 12-20 on the road this season and now are a full game behind the Utah Jazz for the final spot in the playoffs with three games to play.
Fighting for their playoff lives, the Houston Rockets are heading to overtime against the New Orleans Hornets.
Houston led by eight at halftime, but New Orleans doubled-up the Rockets 26-13 in the third quarter. The Rockets are currently tied for ninth place in the Western Conference standings so Thursday's game against the lowly Hornets is vital for Houston's playoff hopes. However, New Orleans isn't going down easily in its home finale.
Chase Budinger leads the Rockets with 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting, including 4-for-10 from three-point range. Courtney Lee and Goran Dragic each have 15 points. Marcus Camby led the Rockets with 14 points at halftime, but he didn't score in the second half. Houston is on a five-game losing streak.
Falling farther and farther from the playoffs, the Rockets are in a good spot to end their five-game losing streak as Houston leads the Hornets 51-43 at halftime.
Marcus Camby leads all scorers with 14 points, along with six rebounds. Camby shot 7-for-8 from the field. Chase Budinger has 11 points off the bench. The Rockets are shooting 51.2 percent, while the Hornets are shooting 50 percent. The difference is that Houston is 7-for-12 from three-point range while New Orleans is 3-for-13.
Houston entered the night tied for ninth place in the Western Conference, but behind the Phoenix Suns because of a tiebreaker. The Rockets and Suns trail the Utah Jazz by 1/2 game for the final playoff spot. The Hornets and Rockets will meet again in a week for the regular-season finale.
The Houston Rockets' latest loss - a 117-110 win by the Mavericks, Dallas' seventh in a row over Houston - doesn't officially eliminate the Rockets from the NBA Playoffs, but the road to the postseason has become quite daunting.
At 32-30 overall, the Rockets are tied with Phoenix, and both teams are a half game behind Utah. The Jazz own the tiebreaker over the Suns, but the Suns own the tiebreaker over Houston, as does Utah if the Jazz and Rockets finish tied.
The Rockets must win out in their final four games. With a home and away against lowly New Orleans and a home game versus Golden State, that's do-able, but Houston also has to go to Miami, where the Heat have the league's best home record
The Jazz and Suns need to each lose one game. The two teams play each other in Salt Lake City, so that ensures at least one club will lose a game. If the Suns are able to win that game, they could easily lose one of their remaining contests against the Nuggets, Clippers or Spurs.