If the San Antonio Spurs have any concerns about a first-round playoff match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers, they sure didn't show it on Friday night.
The Spurs chose not to rest any starters when they faced the Utah Jazz, instead welcoming back point guard Tony Parker to go full throttle and eventually beat Utah in overtime. The Jazz entered the game outside of playoff position in the Western Conference but very much still in the mix, just a game-and-a-half behind the Lakers for the eighth spot in the West.
Instead of trying to influence the race for eighth place, the Spurs took care of business to maintain a two-and-a-half game lead at the top of the conference standings.
By the end of the night, the Jazz were no worse off after the Lakers let an 18-point lead slip away before losing at home to the Washington Wizards, 103-100. The frustrating loss for the Lakers didn't set them back in the standings but continued to stall their efforts to move up and catch the Houston Rockets for seventh place.
The Rockets rolled to an easy win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to extend their lead over the Lakers to two-and-a-half games with 13 games left in the regular season for Houston. The Lakers will have to keep an eye on the rearview mirror with 12 games remaining compared to Utah's 13 games since the Jazz only have one more loss than the Lakers.
|San Antonio Spurs||69||53-16||.768|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||70||51-19||.729|
|Los Angeles Clippers||69||47-22||.681|
|Golden State Warriors||70||39-31||.557|
|Los Angeles Lakers||70||36-34||.514|
|Portland Trail Blazers||69||33-36||.478|
|New Orleans Hornets||70||24-46||.343|