NBA playoff picture: Lakers catch Jazz, but lack tiebreaker

USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are getting closer to their goal of earning a playoff spot.

If the NBA Playoffs started today ... the Los Angeles Lakers still wouldn't be in them. But they're getting closer.

After the Utah Jazz lost to the New York Knicks on Saturday, the Lakers and Jazz are now tied with identical 32-31 records for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Jazz would still be in the playoffs if their records stay tied until the season ends, though, because the Jazz have won two of three games against the Lakers head-to-head, giving them the tiebreaker.

The Jazz are idle on Sunday while the Lakers host the Chicago Bulls at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Utah plays 11 of its final 19 games at home this season. The Jazz face 10 teams in that stretch with .500 or better records. The Lakers play nine of their final 19 at home and also face 10 teams that are currently better than .500.


Western Standings

GP W-L PCT
San Antonio Spurs 63 48-15 .762
Oklahoma City Thunder 62 46-16 .742
Memphis Grizzlies 61 42-19 .689
Los Angeles Clippers 64 44-20 .688
Denver Nuggets 64 42-22 .656
Golden State Warriors 64 35-29 .547
Houston Rockets 64 34-30 .531
Utah Jazz 63 32-31 .508
Los Angeles Lakers 63 32-31 .508
Portland Trail Blazers 61 29-32 .475
Dallas Mavericks 61 28-33 .459
Minnesota Timberwolves 59 21-38 .356
Phoenix Suns 63 22-41 .349
Sacramento Kings 64 22-42 .344
New Orleans Hornets 63 21-42 .333


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