An ill-timed late season skid by the Houston Rockets has any postseason hopes in the Space City slowly slipping away with the woeful Golden State Warriors set to invade on Saturday.
The Rockets were cruising and in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff picture after a 94-89 win at Portland on April 9 but haven't won since, dropping six straight to fall to 10th place, one game behind both Phoenix and Utah for the final playoff berth.
New Orleans played the spoiler on Thursday when Eric Gordon scored a game-high 27 points as the Hornets put a big dent in the Rockets' playoff hopes with a 105-99 overtime victory at New Orleans Arena.
Goran Dragic had 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Houston, which hasn't lost seven in a row since Jan. 6-18, 2006.
"We weren't playing that bad tonight. We went up 10, and then all of a sudden we started missing shots," Houston forward Luis Scola said. "We felt the pressure and could not finish the game. I just don't know what has happened."
The Rockets, Suns and Jazz all have three games remaining. Phoenix hosts Denver on Saturday and Utah is home to Orlando.
The banged-up Warriors, meanwhile, have lost seven straight, including Friday's 104-94 setback at Dallas. Rookie Klay Thompson scored 26 for Golden State on that one.
Brandon Rush netted 20 points and Dorell Wright scored 19, while Charles Jenkins tallied 10 points and 10 assists.
"I thought it was outstanding effort when you look at the team that we're putting out on the floor," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "A lot of injuries, a lot of young guys, at the same time I'm proud of the way they competed and battled against a championship team, and found a way to hang in until the fourth quarter when they [Dallas] clearly separated themselves."
With guard Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and center Andrew Bogut (broken left ankle) already shut down for the season long ago the Warriors did the same with star forward David Lee, who is struggling with groin and hip problems, last week.
Houston has won four of five and 13 of its last 15 meetings with the Warriors.