Grizzlies vs. Lakers: Memphis battling for 8th playoff spot

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The regular season is drawing to a close and the stakes are high out West.

The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers will play Sunday night in a game with significant playoff implications. The Lakers, obviously, are long gone in the playoff chase, but Memphis is still fighting for the eight seed out West.

The Grizzlies' magic number is two, meaning they need to win two out of their last three games in order to clinch the West's eighth and final playoff spot. That begins with the Lakers.

Taking care of business in Los Angeles is of the utmost importance because the Phoenix Suns are right on Memphis's tail. The Grizzlies and Suns play Monday night in what is essentially a playoff game.

If the Grizzlies lose to the Lakers, the Suns can clinch the eight seed with a win tomorrow. If the Grizzlies beat the Lakers, they can lose to the Suns and still clinch with a win Wednesday over the Mavericks.

In other words: Memphis controls its own destiny. Beat the Lakers and the road to the playoffs is a little easier. Lose, however, and things get interesting.

As the final game on Sunday night, tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m. ET on NBATV.

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