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Hornets rally to stun Rockets in OT, damage Houston's playoff hopes

Eric Gordon scored a game-high 27 points as the New Orleans Hornets put a dent in the Houston Rockets' playoff hopes with a 105-99 overtime victory at New Orleans Arena.

Carl Landry added 20 points, including seven in overtime, to go along with 10 rebounds while Al-Farouq Aminu finished with a season-high 17 points for the Hornets, who won for the fifth time in six games.

Goran Dragic had 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Houston, which dropped its sixth straight game and fell a game behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with three games to play.

Phoenix is also a half game ahead of the Rockets and is currently playing the Clippers.

The Hornets trailed, 51-43, at the half, but opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to take their first lead since the opening frame, 56-55.

Courtney Lee's driving layup put Houston back on top and the lead changed hands three more times before Aminu netted four straight points to spark a 10-4 spurt over the final five minutes of the frame to give New Orleans a 69-64 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets maintained their edge for the majority of the fourth quarter until Lee dropped in a three-pointer from the left corner to knot the game at 81 before Patterson capped the 12-4 swing with a driving layup to put Houston on top, 83-81, with 2 1/2 minutes left and it remained a one-possession game through regulation.

After Gustavo Ayon's pull-up jumper from the right elbow gave New Orleans an 87-86 edge with 41.4 seconds left in the fourth, Chase Budinger missed a trey on the other end and Greivis Vasquez grabbed the defensive rebound, but Lee quickly stole the ball and was fouled.

Lee made the front end of his two free throws to make it an 87-87 contest with 14 seconds remaining and Gordon's jumper from the right elbow at the buzzer rimmed out to force overtime.

The Hornets then controlled the extra period, following Luis Scola's opening layup with nine straight points to seize control.

Houston never recovered and trailed by at least six points for the remainder of the contest as New Orleans made enough free throws down the stretch.

Houston used a 6-for-8 performance from three-point range in a back-and-forth first quarter that saw seven lead changes and four ties to carry a 29-22 lead into the second on Lee's trey as time expired in the frame.

The Rockets opened the second quarter with six straight points to stretch their lead up to 35-22, but New Orleans answered with an 11-4 run to close the gap to 39-33.

Budinger, though, put and end to the spurt with a shot from beyond the arc and the Hornets would get no closer than six points for the remainder of the half en route to a 51-43 deficit at the break.

Game Notes

New Orleans closed out its home schedule with an 11-22 record...The Rockets fell to 12-20 on the road this season...Houston finished shooting 11-for-31 from three-point range and went 14-for-25 from the foul line...The Hornets held a 57-40 advantage on the glass and outscored Houston in the paint, 44-38...The game had a total of 18 lead changes and 11 ties.