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Rockets, T-Wolves Become 1st Teams Eliminated from 2021 NBA Playoff Contention

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 23, 2021

Troy Fields/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves have been eliminated from playoff contention after the San Antonio Spurs' 106-91 win over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Houston had made the playoffs for eight straight seasons, which was the longest current streak in the NBA. The Rockets are now in rebuilding mode though after granting superstar guard James Harden's trade request and dealing him to the Brooklyn Nets in January.

Minnesota has made the playoffs just once since the 2003-04 season, when the team last won a postseason series. Like the Rockets, they are amid a rebuild, with the team constructing around a core featuring No. 1 overall draft picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

San Antonio's win meant that 10 Western Conference teams now have 29 wins or more. The NBA will hold play-in tournaments for the seventh through 10th seeds for each conference following the end of the regular season.

Minnesota and Houston, which have both lost 44 games, can only win as many as 28.

This year's postseason will begin on Tuesday, May 18 with the play-in tournament. Once the final four playoff teams are decided, the 16-team playoff will start on Saturday, May 22.

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