The Hornets look like a team that needs to catch its breath, but they won't have much of a chance until finishing the regular season.
New Orleans looked tired in a 111-89 loss at Memphis on Sunday. It was the Hornets' fourth game in seven days, which included their final push to clinch a playoff spot.
They will complete their final back-to-back set of the regular season when they play their home finale against the Jazz on Monday, then they'll finish the regular season at Dallas on Wednesday.
Coach Monty Williams said he was relieved when the Hornets didn't have a letdown from their playoff-clinging victory against Houston last Wednesday when they beat Phoenix on Friday. But perhaps there was a delayed reaction Sunday.
"Unfortunately, I think this was our emotional letdown game," Williams said.
The eighth-place Grizzlies matched the Hornets' record (46-34), but New Orleans remained in seventh place by virtue of winning the tiebreaker. The Hornets could still finish sixth, seventh, or eighth and play the Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks, or Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.
"The only thing we can control is our wins and losses," guard Chris Paul said. "We're one of those teams, we haven't been together long enough to say this is who we want to play, or who we don't want to play. We've just got to continue to play, deal with it as a team, and deal with who we have to play when we get to it."
GRIZZLIES 111, HORNETS 89: The Hornets could not cool off the hot-shooting Grizzlies, who made 60.3 percent of their shots (41 of 68). The Hornets kept pace early on as the score was tied at 30 after one quarter, even though the Grizzlies made 13 of their first 16 shots, and they trailed just 52-48 at halftime, even though the Grizzlies shot 65.7 percent. Then Memphis began the third quarter with a 17-8 run and the Hornets never recovered.
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