The Houston Rockets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. With that defeat, Houston lost much of its hope of catching up to the final three teams in line to earn bids to the NBA Playoffs in the Western Conference.
The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets each won on Wednesday, adding a game to those teams' leads on Houston. The Grizzlies, who currently sit in the No. 8 spot, lead the Rockets by three games with seven remaining. The Hornets, currently No. 6, have a four-game lead on Houston with seven games left. The Rockets also have seven games left.
The Portland Trail Blazers, currently No. 7, lost to New Orleans, and also sits four games ahead of Houston. Basketball-Reference.com's playoff forecast gives the Rockets just 6.9 percent chance of making the postseason; that's down from 14 percent before Wednesday's action. Adding to Houston's trouble is that it has limited opportunity to create its own destiny; the Rockets have just one game remaining against the team's ahead of them, April 6 at New Orleans. The Hornets and Grizzlies do play each other twice, though, and Memphis visits Portland in the final week, so there is the hope that the teams will beat up on each other while Houston gets hot. But it's a longshot.
Houston hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Friday; a win for the Rockets would be unexpected, but could help keep the team alive a little while longer.