Rockets Prepare For Home Stretch In Race For The Playoffs

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: March 26, 2007

Houston RocketsHOUSTON — Consistency. That will be the key for the Houston Rockets as they go into the home stretch, their last 12 games of the regular-season in hopes of seeking home-court advantage for the opening round.

One night the Rockets will do everything right, then all of a sudden a breakdown occurs. Just like the one that occured on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Hornets. Their 106-94 loss to the Hornets, snapped an eight-game win streak.

“You’re not going to win too many games when your opponent shoots 50 percent and they shoot 46 percent from three-point range and you get outrebounded,” Houston forward Tracy McGrady stated.

“We deserve to lose. We didn’t rebound and we didn’t play defense.”

New Orleans point guard Chris Paul broke loose against the Rockets scoring 28 points and five assists. Paul also connected on 10 of 15 field goals and was 4-of-5 from three point range, which was a career-best.

Houston, began the game by scoring points easily. They made their first seven shots, just like they did against Detroit Pistons last week. However, once again they managed to lose the lead and unforunately this time the Hornets put the sting on.

In order to finish the season strong and not repeat an early exit in the playoffs, Houston will have to be more consistent. They will have to play a complete-game.

That is shoot well, rebound well, defend well, and capitalize on every turnover situation the opponents provide. That task won’t be easy though as the Milwaukee Bucks close out this month’s home schedule.

Houston will also face the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers and hot-shooting Kobe Bryant on the road. The final month of the regular season has the Rockets in a three-game home stand against Utah Golden State, and Portland.

They’ll then hit the road for three games vs. Sacramento, Seattle, and Portland. Those stingy Hornets will be back in Houston on April 14th in a crucial rematch and the Phoenix Suns will be the final-regular season home opponent.

The Rockets end the regular season on the road against Utah.