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NBA Playoff Picture: Oh No, Rockets

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The Houston Rockets couldn't possibly lose a sixth straight game, this one to the New Orleans Hornets ... could they? Oh yes they could. Houston has slipped from the No. 6 seed to the No. 10 spot in the matter of a week and change, and there is no end to the slide in sight.

Houston's loss put the Rockets one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the final playoff spot in the West, because Phoenix managed to beat the L.A. Clippers. The Utah Jazz are tied with the Suns in the standings, too, making Houston's path to the postseason even tougher.

The Clippers' loss hurt their Pacific Division quest: L.A. now trails the Lakers by one game plus a tiebreaker. The Clippers lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 4 spot (and home court in the first round) is now 1.5 games.

The Milwaukee Bucks were pretty much toast before losing to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, but their defeat did clinch a berth for the idle Knicks. (Hurray!) Philadelphia is the last team in line to claim a spot in the East.

The Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls, and now trail in the race for the No. 1 seed by 1.5 games. The idle Spurs and Thunder got boosts in their own quests for No. 1 overall with the Bulls' loss, too.

Scott Schroeder looks at the Friday games with playoff implications in Enormous Consequences at noon ET.