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Thunder playoff standings: Oklahoma City loses grip on 8th seed, Pelicans control own destiny

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The Thunder's latest painful loss causes them to slip even further into post-season uncertainty.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets on Sunday, the latest in a long line of frustrating losses that has come to define the Thunder's season. As a result, they are only 0.5 games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans, who are idle until Tuesday night. The Rockets win gives them a 1 game lead in the race for the #2 seed, as the Memphis Grizzlies fell at home to the Wizards over the weekend.

The Thunder and Pelicans both face huge challenges in their next games, as OKC faces the Spurs and the Pelicans take on the Warriors. If the Thunder can remain in their current position after Tuesday night, they have a much more favorable ending to the season, as 3 out of their 4 remaining games are against teams with records under .500. By contrast, the Pelicans must face the Warriors, Grizzlies, Rockets, and Spurs, and the latter 3 teams could all potentially still be battling for playoff seedings.

In the rest of the West, the Spurs hammered the Warriors, which could mean something or it could mean nothing, given that Golden State has nothing to play for at this point in the season. The Spurs do, however, and they now trail the #3 seeded Grizzlies by only a single game. The Clippers are in the mix as well with a nearly identical record to the Spurs, and they too would like to get out of the 4-5 slots to avoid a potential Warriors matchup in the 2nd round.

NBA standings and stats via