Rockets avoid staying in haunted OKC hotel?

The Rockets are likely glad Houston isn’t too far from Oklahoma City for more than it just being a short flight.

It was a reason why they have decided not to stay the night after Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Thunder on Sunday.

“I just think you come back,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale told the Houston Chronicle. “For a 45, 50-minute [flight] to Oklahoma City, to practice for a couple days here and get on a plane, I just never as a player liked staying in cities a long time.”

But is there more to the story?

Visiting teams staying in the city usually means checking in to the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, which is rumored to be haunted.

Just ask the New York Knicks, who blamed a 2010 loss to the Thunder after a night in the hotel.

Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks claims to have heard strange noises there before.

It made headlines again last year when the Miami Heat came to town for the NBA Finals.

Maybe that motivated them to wrap up the series in five games after losing Game 1 in order to avoid another trip back to OKC and a stay at the Skirvin Hilton.

The Thunder are expected to make a deep run in the playoffs this year, which means several teams could be checking in for the night.

But those visitors might not have the luxury the Rockets have of being so close to home.