HOUSTON, April 26 (UPI) --
A season-best 27 points from Chase Budinger Thursday lifted the Houston Rockets to an 84-77 win over New Orleans.
The season came to an end for both teams, with Houston finishing fourth in the Southwest Division and New Orleans winding up fifth. The Rockets missed the playoffs by two games.
Samuel Dalembert added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Houston, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half.
New Orleans got 13 points each from Lance Thomas, Jerome Dyson and Darryl Watkins.
Houston will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. The Hornets had been in the post-season three of the previous four years.
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