Lakers Standings For NBA Playoffs: Up To Eighth After Win Over Grizzlies; Kings & Warriors Loss
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the NBA regular season is approaching and the Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to move up the Western Conference standings.

They had a golden opportunity to do so on Friday night, taking on an extremely shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies in their penultimate regular season game. The Grizzlies came in missing 13 players due to injury, going with mostly two-way players and G Leaguers to finish out the season.

It wasn’t as easy as expected for the Lakers as the young Grizzlies refused to go away, fighting until the very end. Ultimately though, LeBron James and Anthony Davis proved to be too much as the Lakers would hang on for the victory to improve to 46-35 with one game to play.

There were a number of other games going on across the league on Friday that also impacted the Western Conference standings as the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors were all in action playing against each other.

And after Friday’s results, the landscape of the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff and Play-In Tournament picture is starting to come into focus.

The Pelicans, who are suddenly the hottest team in the league, took care of business against the Warriors to keep themselves in line for the sixth seed and avoid the Play-In Tournament.

That means that seeds 7-10 could all be Pacific Division teams in the Lakers, Suns, Warriors and Kings, although the order has still yet to be determined.

The Suns were able to beat the Kings on Friday, which was big for the Lakers as they jumped up to the eighth spot, which would put them in the 7-8 matchup. That would give them a chance to earn the seventh seed and if they lose, another chance to earn the eighth seed.

If the Lakers are able to take care of business on Sunday against the Pelicans, then L.A. would clinch the eighth seed, setting up either another matchup with New Orleans or a meeting with the Suns for the sixth time this season.

The Lakers could still fall all the way back to 10th if they lose to the Pelicans, the Warriors win against the Utah Jazz and the Kings win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

With the stakes as high as they are, head coach Darvin Ham needs to have his team prepared for a playoff-type game on Sunday in the season finale in New Orleans.

Lakers standings update

5. Mavericks (50-31)

Upcoming schedule: @ Thunder (April 14)

6. Pelicans (49-32)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Lakers (April 14)

7. Suns (48-33)

Upcoming schedule: @ Timberwolves (April 14)

8. Lakers (46-35)

Upcoming schedule: @ Pelicans (April 14)

9. Kings (45-36)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Trail Blazers (April 14)

10. Warriors (45-36)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Jazz (April 14)

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