The Houston Rockets visited the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, and the hosts wrapped up the season with a 105-100 victory. Houston gained a late one-point lead before the Pelicans closed on a 6-0 run over the final 2:51.
Tyreke Evans led all players with 25 points and 10 assists. Austin Rivers made for a potent tandem in New Orleans' backcourt with 18 points and eight dimes. Anthony Morrow added 15 off the bench.
Troy Daniels led Houston with 22 points on the strength of six three-pointers. Terrence Jones scored 17 points, and Patrick Beverley put in 14. Dwight Howard saw 25 minutes and change, but he mainly just jogged his way to seven points, four boards and three blocks.
The Pelicans are dealing with a host of injuries, including Anthony Davis, while the Rockets decided to rest James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.
The Pelicans held Houston to 37 percent shooting in the first half and claimed a 53-50 lead. Strong play in the backcourt successfully held off half of the Houston rotation to end the season on a sweet note.
The Rockets (54-28) had already clinched the No. 4 seed in the West, setting up a first-round clash with the Portland Trail Blazers. Houston won the season series between the offensively-minded squads 3-1, though one of the wins required overtime. Their first-round clash kicks off Sunday.
The Pelicans (34-48) finished far from the playoff picture as Anthony Davis was unable to single-handedly save the team. Now, they are merely hoping to win the lottery and retain the top-five protected pick traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.