Should the Los Angeles Lakers send their "Thank You" card to the Utah Jazz or the Denver Nuggets this time? Just when Utah had pulled even with the Lakers for the final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, Denver stepped in on Wednesday night and knocked off the Jazz, 113-96. The loss pushed Utah a half-game behind the Lakers for the No. 8 seed, and there isn't much time left for Utah to make a move.
The Lakers have seven games left on their schedule, but five of those come at home, and the team is an impressive 24-12 at the Staples Center this season. L.A. does play five plus-.500 teams down the stretch. The Jazz have six games remaining with three against plus-.500 teams and an even home-road split. Utah does hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over L.A., so things could go down to the wire. Every game is important for both teams at this point, which is what makes Wednesday's loss for Utah so big.
In other action on Wednesday, the idle Oklahoma City Thunder watched the Spurs, Nuggets, Clippers Grizzlies, Warriors and Rockets all pick up wins. San Antonio pulled to one-and-a-half games ahead of OKC for the top seed out West.
|San Antonio Spurs||75||56-19||.747|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||74||54-20||.730|
|Los Angeles Clippers||76||50-26||.658|
|Golden State Warriors||75||43-32||.573|
|Los Angeles Lakers||75||39-36||.520|
|Portland Trail Blazers||75||33-42||.440|
|New Orleans Hornets||75||26-49||.347|