Playoff scenarios: Rockets' postseason outlook

By Adam Wexler - Sports Anchor/Reporter
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Chris Paul and James Harden slap hands during a 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets finished their regular season in very disappointing fashion Tuesday. Now they must wait on the results from the final night of the NBA season, which will determine the Rockets' playoff seed and opponent.

Houston lost its regular season finale to Oklahoma City 112-111 after Paul George hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with just 1.8 seconds remaining.

The Rockets had led by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter, then allowed the Thunder to go on a 15-0 run. Houston still led the game by four with 20 seconds left, before Russell Westbrook drained a 3-point shot from the top of the arc.

James Harden would make a pair of free throws to push the lead to three, then the Rockets allowed a Russell Westbrook dunk with nine seconds left to leave Houston’s lead at just one. Harden would be fouled a second time but would miss the second of two free throws.

Westbrook grabbed the rebound, pitched it up the court, passed it to Steven Adams, who gave it right back before Westbrook found George in the corner for the game-winning 3-point shot.

Had the Rockets won, they would have clinched the No. 2 seed since the Nuggets had already lost Tuesday night to Utah. Instead, they’ll have to wait on the results of Denver’s game against Minnesota and the Blazers' game against Sacramento.

If Denver loses to Minnesota, Houston would clinch the No. 2 seed. Keep in mind that Denver is 33-7 at home, which is the best record in the NBA and it is 3-0 versus Minnesota so far this season, including a 133-107 victory against the Wolves in Denver just last month.

If Denver wins, but Portland loses at home to Sacramento, Houston would be the No. 3 seed. Portland is 1-1 against the Kings this season.

If Denver and Portland win their games, then Houston would be the No. 4 seed and face No. 5 seed Utah in the opening round of the playoffs.

Houston will host games 1 and 2 of its opening-round series at Toyota Center.

The only two seeds currently locked up in the West are the top seed (Golden State) and the No. 5 seed (Utah).

Golden State is the No. 1 seed.
Denver can still be the No. 2 or 3 seed.
Houston can still be the No. 2, 3 or 4 seed.
Portland can still be the No. 3 or 4 seed.
Utah is the No. 5 seed.
Oklahoma City can still be the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed.
San Antonio can still be the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed.
Los Angeles Clippers can still be the No. 7 or 8 seed.

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