April 19, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon (10) is defended by Houston Rockets shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second half at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Rockets 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Another season ends in disappointing fashion for Houston, as the Rockets, with nothing left to play for, could give some of their younger players a lot of run tonight.
In what's become a right of spring, the Houston Rockets have finished just outside of the playoffs for the third consecutive year, wrapping up a late lottery pick while teams who finish below them get the first crack at all the top talent in the NBA Draft.
With three wins over Portland, Houston would have the tie-breaker over the Trail Blazers even if they lose, so they are likely locked into the No. 14 pick in the draft for the third consecutive year.
New Orleans, meanwhile, is tied with Sacramento and Cleveland for the third worst record in the NBA at 21-44 and a game ahead of New Jersey and Toronto at 22-43, so they could really use a loss tonight.
For the Rockets, the meaningless game could be a good opportunity to get seldom-used lottery pick Marcus Morris some minutes.
The 7:00 PM game will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports Houston.