Once the Washington Wizards get past the anger, disappointment and perceived unfairness of Wednesday’s controversial one-point loss to the Houston Rockets, the reality of their current predicament will eventually sink in — and that could be more unsettling as the players and coaches went their separate ways for the all-star break.

When they get back together for a late-night practice Monday, the Wizards will have plenty of separation from a game that ended with Rockets all-star guard James Harden scoring three points in the final four seconds with the assistance of a dead-ball foul that removed Trevor Ariza, Washington’s best perimeter defender, with his sixth foul.

The Eastern Conference playoff race, however, has gotten much tighter and a playoff spot is no longer the lock it seemed to be for much of the past two months.

“The next 30 games are going to be a battle all night, every game,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “There’s no games to waste now.”

The Wizards (25-27) are only percentage points ahead of Brooklyn for the sixth spot in the East. They have dropped four of their past five games, losing in double overtime to San Antonio and the other three to Cleveland, Memphis and Houston by a combined six points.

“Any time we start playing defense, you can see we can play with anybody,” John Wall said. “We’re two games under .500, but we can get some days off, get some rest and get on a streak. We got to find a way to win some games. It’s a tough battle going on in that Eastern Conference right now. We’ve got to find a way to get ahead.”

The Wizards have had numerous opportunities to be in a better position but have repeatedly let down their guard at home against teams with inferior records, losing to Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Cleveland twice. Given those results, it might not be too comforting to know the Wizards have the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA for the rest of the season.