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Alvin Gentry apologizes to Pelicans for outburst after loss to Rockets

NEW ORLEANS -- A day after claiming that his New Orleans Pelicans were out of the playoff race, coach Alvin Gentry admitted regret over his comments.

"Yeah, I was emotional. I would say that I shouldn't have said it. I'm not afraid to say that," Gentry said. "But at that time I was just so frustrated. That's why it's good that I wait a while to talk to [the media]. Sometimes, it doesn't subside enough that you still say emotional things.

"But it was a frustrating loss. The last two have been very frustrating. We've played good basketball after the All-Star break. You just want to try to continue to win and you hope you get a little momentum, because through all that's ever happened, there's still not enough separation that you're completely out of the playoff picture."

TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager reported during Thursday's Pelicans-Spurs broadcast that Gentry apologized to general manager Dell Demps for the outburst.

Following a 100-95 loss to the Rockets that saw the Pelicans commit 22 turnovers and go scoreless over the game's final 2:58, a visibly agitated Gentry expressed his frustration to reporters in Houston.

"We come out here after every game and we talk about, 'Well, you know, we're still in the playoff race.' No, we're not. We're not," Gentry said after the game. "What we are is, we're a team that -- when we have an opportunity to do something, we didn't get it done. So that is the bottom line.

"We're up six points, we turn the ball over three straight times. You can't do that and win on the road. It's that simple."

The Pelicans, who let a late lead slip away to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, are six games behind the Rockets for the eighth spot in the Western Conference, with the Jazz (1½ games back), Kings (five) and Nuggets (six) ahead of them.

New Orleans entered Thursday's game against the Spurs with a 0.4 percent chance of making the postseason, according to ESPN's Basketball Power Index.