NBA playoff picture, West edition: Lakers still on the outside

USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers have finally returned to .500, but they are still 2½ games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers finally got back to .500 with their thrilling win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night, but they remain on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture.

The Lakers sit at 30-30, 2½ games behind both the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets. The Jazz technically hold the seventh-seed, as they are a single percentage point ahead of the Rockets in the standings. The Golden State Warriors are just a half-game ahead of Utah and Houston in the sixth spot. The Warriors and Jazz both play on Monday.

Looking at the top of the West, the San Antonio Spurs hold a comfortable three-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams were victorious on Sunday, and the Thunder's victory over the Clippers gave them a 1½-game cushion over Los Angeles for the second spot.

The Denver Nuggets will look to pull closer to the No. 4 Memphis Grizzlies when they take on the road-weary Atlanta Hawks Monday night. The Nuggets sit at 38-22 and are two games behind the Grizzlies, who have won nine of their last 10 games.

Here are the full West standings:


Western Standings

GP W-L PCT
San Antonio Spurs 61 47-14 .770
Oklahoma City Thunder 59 43-16 .729
Los Angeles Clippers 62 43-19 .694
Memphis Grizzlies 58 39-19 .672
Denver Nuggets 60 38-22 .633
Golden State Warriors 60 33-27 .550
Utah Jazz 59 32-27 .542
Houston Rockets 61 33-28 .541
Los Angeles Lakers 60 30-30 .500
Portland Trail Blazers 58 27-31 .466
Dallas Mavericks 59 26-33 .441
Minnesota Timberwolves 56 20-36 .357
Phoenix Suns 60 21-39 .350
New Orleans Hornets 60 21-39 .350
Sacramento Kings 61 21-40 .344

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