(Eds: APNewsNow.)
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Jeremy Lin looked around on the first day of the Houston Rockets' training camp with more hope than expectation. James Harden arrived three weeks later and everything changed.
The Rockets are back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Houston will face Oklahoma City, Harden's former team, in the first round beginning Sunday.
Houston had the No. 6 seed within reach after clinching a berth last week, but losses in three of its last four games dropped the Rockets to No. 8.
Harden came to Houston in a stunning trade with the Thunder and then lit up his old team for a career-high 46 points on Feb. 20. Oklahoma City won two of three matchups in the regular season.

Top NBA Public Bets


NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail NBA 2016-17 MVP Odds Will Stephen Curry make a run at a third straight NBA MVP honor, or will someone else push him for the crown? Get a...
Thumbnail Lottery pick to begin pro career as reserve The Lakers stumbled to a 17-65 finish in 2015-16. Yet that doesn’t mean they’re willing to just hand over the keys to the No. 2 overall pick in June’s NBA draft.
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages