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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 14th (All times eastern)

New Orleans Hornets (36-45) at Houston Rockets (42-39), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of teams closing out their respective seasons get together tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston, where the Rockets play host to the Southwest Division-rival New Orleans Hornets.

Houston has won five of its last seven games and is coming off Monday's 117-107 victory at Sacramento behind 39 points from former King Kevin Martin. Martin was dealt to Houston in mid-February in a three-team deal with Carl Landry landing in Sacramento. Martin, a first-round draft pick of the Kings in 2004, had spent over five seasons in California's capital until being traded.

Trevor Ariza netted 29 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 and 11 assists off the bench for the Rockets, whose streak of three straight playoff appearances came to an end this season.

"Our guys have played hard all year long. We've had a lot of ups and downs like very team has, but we haven't quit," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "Our goal was when we weren't going to make the playoffs was to get as many wins as we can. They work too hard to give the season away in the last seven games."

The Rockets are 23-17 as the host in 2009-10.

New Orleans has lost 10 of its last 13 games and closed out its home schedule by going 1-2 on a three-game residency. In Sunday's 114-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Big Easy, Emeka Okafor scored 23 points and Marcus Thornton added 22 for the Hornets, who ended a five-game slide.

Darren Collison contributed 17 points and 11 assists, while Julian Wright tallied 16 points in the triumph.

"We just wanted to support our fans for supporting us," Collison said of the home finale. "We wanted to go out there and put on a good show for them."

The Hornets will try to work on their 12-28 ledger away from New Orleans Arena Wednesday night.

New Orleans has won two of three matchups with Houston this season, but is winless in its last four games as the guest in this series.

04/14 10:50:20 ET


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