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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.