Despite the first five-game losing streak since acquiring Pau Gasol on February 1, 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers still are in control of their own destiny for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. However, the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder are still in the mix for that coveted spot, with the NBA playoffs less than a week away. Here is a breakdown of the three contenders and their final week of the regular season.â†µ
- Lakers (55-25): Tuesday vs. San Antonio, Wednesday at Sacramento â†µ
- Mavericks (55-25): Monday at Houston, Wednesday vs. New Orleans â†µ
- Thunder (54-26): Monday at Sacramento, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee â†µ
Each contender has one home game and one road game left. The Lakers hold the tiebreaker over both Dallas and Oklahoma City, and the Lakers' magic number to clinch the No. 2 seed is two (a combination of Lakers wins and/or Mavericks losses), and their magic number to clinch a higher seed than the Thunder is one. The Thunder hold the tiebreaker over Dallas by virtue of winning the Northwest Division while the Mavericks are second to the No. 1 seed Spurs in the Southwest Division.â†µ
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