The Western Conference playoff race has broken into two groups as the NBA surges through the final quarter of the regular season.
The first group is bunched around the eighth and final playoff spot. The Los Angeles Lakers recently took over the eight spot and with their Kobe-less win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday, they moved one full game ahead of the Utah Jazz. The Lakers continue to look ahead with the Houston Rockets just a game and a half ahead in seventh and the Golden State Warriors two games ahead in sixth place.
With those four teams in the mix for three playoff spots, the Dallas Mavericks still hold out hope of joining the race. A win on Friday helped the Mavs keep pace, but they are still three games behind the Lakers.
The other race in the West is for a top four spot and home-court advantage for at least one round of the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets remain in fifth place but came up with a big win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday to draw within a half game of the Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers have all but clinched the Pacific Division, but jockeying for home-court advantage will make for an entertaining finish to the regular season between the three teams.
|San Antonio Spurs||66||50-16||.758|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||66||49-17||.742|
|Los Angeles Clippers||66||45-21||.682|
|Golden State Warriors||67||37-30||.552|
|Los Angeles Lakers||67||35-32||.522|
|Portland Trail Blazers||64||30-34||.469|
|New Orleans Hornets||66||22-44||.333|
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