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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