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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 12th (All times Eastern)

New Orleans Pelicans (32-47) at Houston Rockets (52-27), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets are tumbling a bit, but will try to get on track Saturday night when they welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the Toyota Center.

The Rockets closed their three-game road trip with back-to-back losses and their chances of hosting a first-round playoff series are now in serious jeopardy.

Houston is only a half-game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers, who currently reside in fifth. The Rockets host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, then finish up with a road game against these Pelicans.

Portland, which has won three in a row, hosts the Golden State Warriors on Sunday and welcomes the Los Angeles Clippers to the Moda Center on Wednesday night.

After a seven-point loss in Denver on Wednesday, the Rockets dropped a heartbreaker in Minnesota, 112-110, to the Timberwolves.

Corey Brewer scored a franchise-record 51 points for the Wolves, but Gorgui Dieng's game-winning basket with 4.6 seconds left spurred Minnesota to the victory.

James Harden stuffed the stat sheet in defeat, pouring in a team-high 33 points to go with 10 assists, eight rebounds and six steals. Chandler Parsons added 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Jeremy Lin scored 14 for the Rockets.

"Three games to go, we're trying to lock in home-court advantage and we just keep letting games slip away," said Harden.

Dwight Howard missed his eighth straight game with an ankle injury.

The Pelicans have dropped seven in a row and five straight on the road.

With Anthony Davis shut down for the remainder of the season due to back spasms, New Orleans has struggled badly. During this slide, things have been bad on both sides of the ball. Over the last seven, the Pelicans have surrendered 106.4 ppg, while scoring just 93.7 ppg.

On Friday, the Pelicans got clobbered by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-94, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

"Our guys have scrapped and clawed and tried to do what they can to help the team and their teammates," said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. "It's a tough situation, playing against a really good team. You're kind of behind to start the game. But we're not giving in and we're not looking for excuses. We've got to go out and compete every time we step on the floor."

Austin Rivers and Darius Miller each scored 18 points to lead the Pelicans. Tyreke Evans scored 13 before leaving the game in the third quarter with a knee bruise.

Alexis Ajinca chipped in 12 and James Southerland added 10 off the bench. Brian Roberts left in the first with a sprained ankle.

The Pelicans close with the Thunder and Rockets at home.

The Rockets have won both of this season's matchups and seven of the last nine meetings. Houston has won five straight as the host in this series.

04/12 10:28:59 ET

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TV
  • NFL: NY Giants at Washington

    Thursday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Western Michigan at Virginia Tech

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Texas A&M

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
Final
NYY 5
BAL 0
Final
CLE 0
KAN 2
Final
TOR 14
SEA 4
Final
DET 0
CWS 2
Final
ATL 0
PIT 1
Final
TEX 4
HOU 3
Final
CHC 0
STL 8
Final
MIN 2
ARI 6
7th
OAK 6
ANA 1
 
9th
SDP 1
COL 0
 
9th
LOS 2
SFG 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
NYM
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TAM
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
NYI 3
OTT 2
 
6:00pm Monday
NYI
OTT
 
Final
PIT 1
DET 2
Final
NYR 4
NJD 5
Final
PHI 2
TOR 3
 
Final
PHI 5
WAS 4
Final
WIN 2
MIN 1
Final
DAL 4
STL 3
Final
COL 2
ANA 5
Final
ANA 4
COL 0
3rd Intermission
ARI 4
LOS 4
 
3rd
LOS 3
ARI 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
DET
 
9:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
VAN
 
Final
NYJ 19
CHI 27