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Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans game preview

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to run it back. The Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans will play once again after Friday night’s classic (if you’re a Rockets fan) ended with Jabari Smith Jr. hitting the biggest shot of his career and continuing his incredible March run.

The biggest reason that Houston won that game (besides the game winner) was the fact that Houston’s bench far outperformed the Pelicans’ squad. A lot of that has to do with the 22-0 run that the Rockets went on, but it wasn’t like Pels bench charged back in the second half.

It now feels unlikely that the Rockets will finish with the worst record in the NBA for a third straight season. Detroit has built a two-win cushion over Houston and San Antonio, and it appears that the Rockets are pushing for wins and the other two squads aren’t. Remember, the difference between first and third in lottery odds is zero when it comes to landing the top overall pick or a top 4 pick. The difference is that the third worst team has a small chance of dropping to seventh while the worst team cannot drop past the fifth pick.

Tip-off is at 6pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest