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Rockets bring losing ways into New Orleans

Now is not the time for the Houston Rockets to start piling up losses in succession. Mired in a five-game slide and still hanging by a thread in the playoff race, the Rockets will visit the New Orleans Hornets tonight in hopes of returning to the win column.

Houston is even with Phoenix at one-half game behind Utah for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference and suffered a 117-110 loss to the rival Dallas Mavericks last night in Big D. Goran Dragic had 20 points and 10 assists, Marcus Camby finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds, and Luis Scola netted 18 points in a losing effort.

"We have to stay together, we can't start hanging our heads now," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said of his team's recent stretch.

Courtney Lee scored 16 points for the Rockets, who fell to 12-19 as the visitor this season and shot 50 percent for the game.

New Orleans will try to spoil Houston's chances of making the playoffs and had a four-game winning streak stopped with a 103-91 loss at Memphis last night.

Jerome Dyson netted 24 points, while Carl Landry and Marco Belinelli each had 16 points for the Hornets. Jason Smith added 12 points in a losing cause.

"He was aggressive. He played with a desperation that you see from guys who aren't in the NBA and trying to earn a spot," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said of Dyson.

After hosting Houston, New Orleans, which is 10-22 in the Big Easy, will close out the season with three straight road games against the Clippers, Warriors and Rockets.

The Hornets dropped the first meeting with Houston this season by a 90-88 score in overtime on Jan. 19 in Space City, but have still won six of the past eight matchups between the teams.