NBA Playoffs 2012: Lakers, Clippers Race For Pacific Division

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NBA Scores And More: Utah Jazz Claim Sole Possession Of Final Western Conference Playoff Spot With Overtime Win

The Utah Jazz captured a comeback home win Saturday night, defeating the Orlando Magic 117-107 in overtime, leaving the Jazz alone in eighth place as they try to capture the final playoff spot in teh Western Conference. Al Jefferson scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Jazz (34-30), who still have two home games remaining.

The Phoenix Suns (33-31) and Houston Rockets (33-31) are one game behind the Jazz with two games remaining. The Suns lost 118-107 at home to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, while the Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors 99-96 in Houston.

The Jazz aren't out of the woods just yet, as they host the Suns on Tuesday night in a game that looms large in the battle for the No. 8 seed. The Suns have beaten the Jazz twice this season so they own the tiebreaker over Utah, but Phoenix has to win Tuesday to stay alive.

A Utah win over Phoenix Tuesday would eliminate Houston as well as the best the Rockets could hope for at that point is a tie with Utah, but the Jazz beat the Rockets in two of their three matchups this season, giving Utah the tiebreaker.

The Suns end their season with a home game against San Antonio, but the difficulty of that contest could depend on whether or not the Spurs have their playoff seed already set. The Rockets face a tough road test on Tuesday in South Florida against the Miami Heat.

Here are the Western Conference standings through Saturday, April 21.

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
1 San Antonio
46-16 .742 --- 2 home / 2 road
2 Oklahoma City
46-17 .730 ½ 2 home / 1 road
3 Lakers
40-24 .625 7 1 home / 1 road
4 Clippers 39-24 .619 1 home / 2 road
5 Memphis 39-25 .609 8 2 home / 0 road
6 Denver 35-28 .556 11½ 1 home / 2 road
7 Dallas
36-29 .554 11½ 0 home / 1 road
8 Utah 34-30 .531 13 2 home / 0 road
9 Phoenix 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
9 Houston 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
Through games of April 21

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NBA Standings 2012: Lakers, Clippers Jockey For Playoff Seeding

The Los Angeles Lakers have the inside track at winning the Pacific Division title, but the Los Angeles Clippers are nipping at their heels. Both teams play their final home games of the regular season on Sunday at Staples Center and by the end of the day we could have a new leader atop the division in their race for seeding in the NBA playoffs.

The Lakers won the season series with the Clippers two games to one, and hold the tiebreaker over their crosstown rivals. The Lakers have two games remaining while the Clippers have three left. Of those five games, the Clippers need four outcomes to go their way in order to be crowned division champions for the first time in franchise history.

The magic number however is just two for the Lakers to clinch their fifth consecutive Pacific Division crown. Here are the NBA standings through Saturday:

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
1 San Antonio
46-16 .742 --- 2 home / 2 road
2 Oklahoma City
46-17 .730 ½ 2 home / 1 road
3 Lakers
40-24 .625 7 1 home / 1 road
4 Clippers 39-24 .619 1 home / 2 road
5 Memphis 39-25 .609 8 2 home / 0 road
6 Denver 35-28 .556 11½ 1 home / 2 road
7 Dallas
36-29 .554 11½ 0 home / 1 road
8 Utah 34-30 .531 13 2 home / 0 road
9 Phoenix 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
9 Houston 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
Through games of April 21

The Lakers lead the Clippers by a half-game, but the Lakers have to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday while the Clippers get the New Orleans Hornets, on the easier end of the Western Conference opponent spectrum. Here are the relevant games on Sunday's schedule:

12:30 p.m. - Oklahoma City at Lakers (ABC)

3 p.m. - Houston at Miami (NBA TV)

4 p.m. - Cleveland at San Antonio

5 p.m. - Orlando at Denver

6:30 p.m. - New Orleans at Clippers (Prime Ticket, NBA TV)

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Pacific Divsion Champ Will Likely Play Dallas Mavericks Or Denver Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are in a close battle for the NBA Pacific Division crown, with mere days remaining in the season. Whichever crosstown rival ends up on top in the division, it appears clear that as the No. 3 seed they would battle the No. 6 seed, either the Dallas Mavericks or Denver Nuggets.

Rudy Gay scored 21 points to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a home win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, giving Memphis 39 wins on the season. The Grizzlies are assured no worse than the No. 5 seed, and are still technically alive for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Both the Lakers and Clippers won their season series with the Grizzlies, giving them the tiebreaker over Memphis should the two teams tie. The Lakers' magic number to clinch home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs is just one, while the Clippers' magic number for their first home court advantage in franchise history is two.

It is still possible for Memphis (39-25) to grab the No. 3 seed, but it involves Memphis winning both remaining games, the Lakers losing both of their remaining games, and the Clippers losing at least two of their final three contests.

But the win for Memphis also locked in Dallas and Denver for the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds. The Nuggets picked up a 118-107 road win in Phoenix on Saturday behind 29 points and 10 assists from Ty Lawson, while the Mavericks without Jason Kidd were busy losing 93-83 on the road in Chicago, against the Bulls, who have the best record in the NBA.

Dallas (36-29) won their season series with Denver (35-28), giving them the tiebreaker, so the Mavericks' have a magic number of two. Denver, which has three regular season games remaining compared to just one for Dallas, has a magic number of six to clinch the No. 6 seed.

Here are the updated Western Conference standings through Saturday night:

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
1 San Antonio
46-16 .742 --- 2 home / 2 road
2 Oklahoma City
46-17 .730 ½ 2 home / 1 road
3 Lakers
40-24 .625 7 1 home / 1 road
4 Clippers 39-24 .619 1 home / 2 road
5 Memphis 39-25 .609 8 2 home / 0 road
6 Denver 35-28 .556 11½ 1 home / 2 road
7 Dallas
36-29 .554 11½ 0 home / 1 road
8 Utah* 34-30 .531 13 2 home / 0 road
9 Phoenix 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
9 Houston 33-31 .516 14 1 home / 1 road
Through games of April 21

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder Continue Race For Top Seed

The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed Kobe Bryant back after seven games on Friday night, but it wasn't enough to overcome the top team in the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Lakers 121-97 Friday night, putting a damper on the Lakers' hopes to clinch the Pacific Division.

The Lakers still have a magic number of two to clinch their fifth straight division title, while the Clippers have a magic number of four to do the same.

The two best teams in the Western Conference, the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, both won Friday night, with the Thunder winning 103-92 in Sacramento. Here are the Western Conference standings through Friday:

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
1 San Antonio (w)
46-16 .742 --- 2 home / 2 road
2 Oklahoma City (w)
46-17 .730 ½ 2 home / 1 road
3 Lakers (l)
40-24 .625 7 1 home / 1 road
4 Clippers 39-24 .619 1 home / 2 road
5 Memphis 37-25 .597 9 3 home / 1 road
6 Dallas (w)
36-28 .563 11 0 home / 2 road
7 Denver 34-28 .548 12 1 home / 3 road
8 Phoenix 33-30 .524 13½ 2 home / 1 road
8 Utah 33-30 .524 13½ 3 home / 0 road
10 Houston 32-31 .508 14½ 2 home / 1 road
Through games of April 20

Here are the relevant games on Saturday's schedule:

2:30 p.m. - Denver at Phoenix

5 p.m. - Dallas at Chicago

5 p.m. - Golden State at Houston

5 p.m. - Portland at Memphis

7:30 p.m. - Orlando at Utah

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Phoenix Suns Stake Claim To Postseason With Win Over Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers lost Thursday night in Phoenix, falling 93-90 to the Suns in a nationally televised game on TNT. That win for Phoenix put them into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with three games remaining.

The Clippers still have a shot at the Pacific Division crown and the No. 3 seed, but they need five out of six things to go their way in the final three games for both the Clippers and Lakers. More likely, the Clippers seem destined for the No. 4 seed, where they would get home court advantage for the first time in franchise history.

Here are the Western Conference standings:

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
1 San Antonio
45-16 .738 --- 3 home / 2 road
2 Oklahoma City
45-17 .726 ½ 2 home / 2 road
3 Lakers 40-23 .635 6 1 home / 2 road
4 Clippers 39-24 .619 7 1 home / 2 road
5 Memphis 37-25 .597 3 home / 1 road
6 Dallas 35-28 .556 11 1 home / 2 road
7 Denver 34-28 .548 11½ 1 home / 3 road
8 Phoenix 33-30 .524 13 2 home / 1 road
8 Utah 33-30 .524 13 3 home / 0 road
10 Houston 32-31 .508 14 2 home / 1 road
Through games of April 19

Houston lost on the road in New Orleans, putting a damper on their playoff hopes. Phoenix holds the tiebreaker with Utah, but it looks like Tuesday's Suns vs. Jazz tilt in Salt Lake City. Here are the relevant games on Friday's schedule:

5:30 p.m. - Golden State at Dallas

6:30 p.m. - Los Angeles at San Antonio

7 p.m. - Oklahoma City at Sacramento

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Lakers Closer To No. 3 Seed After Clippers Loss

The Los Angeles Lakers are two wins away from clinching the No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference and a Pacific Division championship.

The Los Angeles Clippers' 93-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night put the Clippers (39-34) one game back behind the Lakers (40-23).

The Lakers can clinch the No. 3 seed by going at least 2-1 in the team's remaining games against San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. This task won't be easy for the Lakers as the Spurs and the Thunder are No. 1 and No. 2 in the Western Conference respectively.

Meanwhile, the Clippers need to keep on winning to possibly steal the No. 3 seed away from the Lakers or lock down the No. 4 seed. The Clippers remaining three games are against New Orleans, Atlanta and New York. The Memphis Grizzlies (37-25) could take the No. 4 seed and the home-court advantage with it if they win their final four games.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, head over to Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Lakers, Clippers Move Closer To Clinching No. 3, No. 4 Seeds

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both won on Wednesday night, continuing their race for the Pacific Division crown. The Lakers outclassed Golden State in Oakland 99-87 behind Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, while the Clippers won 104-98 in Denver behind another strong game by Chris Paul.

The Lakers remain a half-game ahead of the Clippers, with three games remaining for the Lakers and four for the Clippers. The Lakers hold the tiebreaker in what essentially is a race for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
3 Lakers 40-23 .635 --- 1 home / 2 road
4 Clippers 39-23 .629 ½ 1 home / 3 road
5 Memphis 37-25 .597 1 home / 1 road
6 Dallas 35-28 .556 5 1 home / 2 road
7 Denver 34-28 .548 1 home / 3 road
Through games of April 18

The Lakers' magic number to clinch the Pacific Division and No. 3 seed is three, which would get them a first-round date with likely either Dallas Mavericks or Denver Nuggets. The Clippers' magic number to clinch at least the No. 4 seed over the Memphis Grizzlies is two, as the Clippers hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies.

The Clippers are in position to have home court advantage in the playoffs for the first time in their history. The Clippers battle the Suns in Phoenix on Thursday night.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Clippers Clinch Playoff Spot, On Heels Of Lakers

The Los Angeles Clippers are headed back to the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Can they rally up on their in-city rivals and earn that third spot in the Western Conference Playoffs?

With the loss by the Houston Rockets earlier tonight against the Denver Nuggets the Clippers clinched a playoff berth. The Clippers have known they were probably playoff-bound for while now, and are really on the heels of the Lakers for the Pacific Division crown. The Clippers are currently in the fourth spot at 38-23, with the Lakers only a game ahead at 39-22.

The Clippers or the Lakers are the two teams likeliest to earn that third seed, which means a likely duel with either a sixth seed of Denver or Dallas. The runner-up gets Memphis. Neither the Clippers nor the Lakers want to face Memphis all that much. The race begins.

To talk about the Clippers playoff picture with fans of Lob City, head on over to Clips Nation. To learn more about the Lakers playoff picture with fans of the Lake Show, check out Silver Screen and Roll.

Check out the SB Nation YouTube NBA channel by watching the videos below.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Clippers Close To Clinching Playoff Berth But Have Sunday Off

The NBA playoff chase is coming down to the final handful of games. Only three of the eight playoff spots have been locked up in the Western Conference, with most teams only having between six and seven games remaining on their regular-season schedule.

While the Los Angeles Lakers have already clinched a playoff berth and the Los Angeles Clippers are on the verge of doing the same, the two Southern California teams may end up duking it out with the Memphis Grizzlies over the final week of the season to see who gets the No. 3 seed in the postseason.

Here are the standings as of Sunday morning:

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
3 Lakers 38-22 .633 --- 3 home / 3 road
4 Clippers 37-23 .610 1 2 home / 4 road
5 Memphis 35-24 .586 2.5 4 home / 3 road
Through games of April 14

The Lakers have a chance to maintain their position in the three seed with a win over Dallas on Sunday night, while the Clippers have the evening off. The Grizzlies can gain ground on the Clippers, as they visit the New Orleans Hornets.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Lakers Clinch Playoff Spot, Inch Closer To Pacific Divisioin Title

The Los Angeles Lakers clinched a playoff spot Friday night with their 103-97 win over the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. The win also increased their lead in the Pacific Division over the Los Angeles Clippers, and lowered the Lakers' magic number to clinch the division to five.

The Lakers, who are in the playoffs for the 59th time in 64 seasons, have a lead of a game and a half over the Clippers, while the Lakers hold the tiebreaker over their crosstown rivals.

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
3 Lakers 38-22 .633 --- 3 home / 3 road
4 Clippers 36-23 .610 3 home / 4 road
5 Memphis 34-24 .586 3 5 home / 3 road
Through games of April 13

The Clippers are back in action on Saturday afternoon, hosting the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Memphis hosts Utah on Saturday night.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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2012 NBA Playoffs: Memphis Grizzlies Loss Moves Los Angeles Clippers Closer To Home Court Advantage

The Los Angeles Clippers closed out their three-game road trip with a win Thursday night in Minnesota, giving them two straight wins and nine victories in their last 11 contests. Coupled with the Memphis Grizzlies' loss in San Antonio, the Clippers are moving closer to securing home court advantage in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.

The Clippers' win moved them to within a game of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division, though the Lakers hold the tiebreaker by winning the season series.

NBA Western Conference Standings
Seed Team W-L Pct GB Remaining Games
3 Lakers 37-22 .627 --- 4 home / 3 road
4 Clippers 36-23 .610 1 3 home / 4 road
5 Memphis 34-24 .586 5 home / 3 road
Through games of April 12

Memphis lost 107-97 on the road to the Spurs, and now the Clippers now hold a game and a half advantage over Memphis for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers hold the tiebreaker with the Grizzlies by winning their season series.

The Clippers' magic number - the number of Clippers wins and Grizzlies losses - to clinch the No. 4 seed is six, with seven games remaining.

The Lakers host the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on Friday night. Their magic number to clinch the Pacific Division over the Clippers is six.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll. For all your Clippers information, be sure to read Clips Nation.

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