Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets clinch playoff berths, now fight for 6th

USA TODAY Sports

Both Golden State and Houston have finally ended their respective playoff droughts. Now the race to clinch the No. 6 seed in the West is on.

The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets officially earned postseason bids with their respective victories Tuesday night, leaving just one remaining open playoff spot in the NBA. Now the race to avoid facing either Oklahoma City or San Antonio in the first round begins.

Getting to the postseason is usually Step 1 for most teams, but landing that superior seeding to avoid a rough first round match-up can be a major boost. With the top two seeds in the West going to the Thunder and Spurs, getting that No. 6 seed to avoid a first round series against either team would be a plus.

As strong as other teams in the West have been this season, including Memphis, Denver and the Clippers, the two teams to beat in the conference this year are OKC and San Antonio.

Entering Wednesday's action, the Warriors (45-33) hold a one-game lead over Houston (44-34) for the sixth seed in the West. Golden State will need to sustain that advantage through the rest of the season, as the Rockets own the tiebreaker having won the season series.

The Rockets haven't been to the postseason since the end of the McGrady/Yao Ming era, as The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog, notes. It's been even longer since Golden State was making noise in the spring. Here's to a great season from both franchises.

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