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Rockets become 8th team to lose 20 straight games in single season

Cato Cataldo / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Houston Rockets became just the eighth team in NBA history to lose 20 consecutive games in a single season, falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-112 at home on Sunday.

Houston had a chance to end the streak late, holding a 110-109 lead with 2:46 left in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back buckets from rookie Thunder guard Theo Maledon quickly extinguished the Rockets' hopes.

The defeat places the Rockets in ignominious company. Just five teams have suffered through longer losing streaks, with last decade's first post-LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers and the "Process"-era Philadelphia 76ers sharing the dubious record of 26 straight defeats.

Longest NBA single-season losing streaks

Rank Games Team Season
T1 26 Cavaliers 2010-11
T1 26 76ers 2013-14
T3 23 Grizzlies 1995-96
T3 23 Nuggets 1997-98
T3 23 Bobcats 2011-12
T6 20 76ers 1972-73
T6 20 Mavericks 1993-94
T6 20 Rockets 2020-21

The Rockets will have a few solid chances to avoid tying the all-time mark; the team's next five games are against opponents who currently have losing records - including a pair of games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the only team in the league with a worse overall record.

Rockets' upcoming schedule

Date Opponent Win %
March 22 vs. Raptors .415
March 24 vs. Hornets .488
March 26 at T-Wolves .238
March 27 at T-Wolves .238
March 29 vs. Grizzlies .487
March 31 vs. Nets .667
April 2 at Celtics .488

The Rockets have been outscored by a league-worst 15.6 points per 100 possessions since the losing streak began Feb. 6. That net rating is even worse than that of the infamously terrible 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats, whose minus-15 mark translated to the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.

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