Posted April 12, 2013

NBA playoff picture: Lakers try to widen lead for No. 8; Rockets look to move up

2013 NBA playoffs, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard, Carl Landry

Dwight Howard and the Lakers are looking to grab a two-game lead over the Jazz in the West. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Here’s what’s at stake for playoff-contending teams on a busy Friday night:

Western Conference

Warriors at Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET): The Lakers (42-37) can grab a two-game lead over the Jazz (41-38) for the No. 8 seed with a win and a Utah loss. A loss drops the Lakers beneath the playoff cut with the Jazz owning the tiebreaker. Golden State (45-34), currently the No. 6 seed, would fall a half-game behind seventh-seeded Houston (44-34) with a loss and a Rockets win.

Clippers at Hornets (8:00 p.m.): The Clippers (52-26) could pull even with the Grizzlies (53-25) in the race for homecourt advantage in the first round with a win and a Memphis loss. The Clippers hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies based on their head-to-head record. A win and a loss for the Grizzlies and Nuggets (54-24) brings Los Angeles within a game of the No. 3 seed.

Grizzlies at Rockets (8:00 p.m.): Memphis could tie the third-seeded Nuggets with a win and a Denver loss. The Nuggets hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies by virtue of their head-to-head record. With a win and a Warriors loss, the Rockets could grab a half-game lead over Golden State for the No. 6 seed.

Nuggets at Mavericks (8:30 p.m.): The Nuggets could fall into a tie with the Grizzlies with a loss and a Memphis win. The Nuggets hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies. Dallas has been eliminated from the playoffs.

Kings at Spurs (8:30 p.m.): The Spurs (57-21) could grab a half-game lead over the Thunder (58-21) atop the Western Conference with a win and an OKC loss. A San Antonio win or loss by Denver clinches a top-two seed for the Spurs.

Timberwolves at Jazz (9:00 p.m.): The Jazz could pull even with the Lakers for the No. 8 seed with a win and a Lakers loss. Utah owns the tiebreaker over Los Angeles by virtue of their head-to-head record.

Thunder at Blazers (10:00 p.m.): With a win and a San Antonio loss, the Thunder could grab a 1 1/2-game lead over the Spurs in the race for homecourt throughout the West playoffs.

Eastern Conference

Bulls at Raptors (7:00 p.m.): The Bulls (43-35) could increase their lead over the sixth-seeded Hawks (43-36) with a win and an Atlanta loss.

Nets at Pacers (7:00 p.m.): With a win and a Knicks loss, the Pacers (49-29) could pull within one game of the No. 2 seed. The Nets (46-32) could secure a top-four seed with a win and a Bulls loss.

Bucks at Hawks (7:30 p.m.): The Hawks could grab a half-game lead over the Bulls for the No. 6 seed with a win and a Bulls loss. The Bucks are essentially locked into the No. 8 seed.

Celtics at Heat (7:30 p.m.): A Celtics win and a Hawks loss brings Boston (40-38) to within 1 1/2 games of the six seed. The Heat (62-16) have already clinched homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

Knicks at Cavaliers (7:30 p.m.): With a win and a Pacers loss, the Knicks (51-27) move within one game of securing the No. 2 seed and homecourt through the East semifinals.

3 comments
erussell715
erussell715

Things certainly look a lot different for the Lakers with the Kobe injury, and if you listen very closely you can hear the strange sound of an entire city weeping, but it won't change the overall playoff picture all that much.  In fact, now that Kobe's gone I'm a LOT more interested in watching the Lakers, and seeing how they fare minus their 17-year security blanket.  I got the new DISH Game finder app, which finds all the games on TV in a matter of seconds.  It's nice since it's harder for me, here in Denver, to find out-of-market games, but Game Finder makes it a breeze!  I work late hours at DISH, but by the time I get off it's the perfect time to catch Lakers games, what with the time difference and all.  Dwight is great, but Kobe was their real fuel, and I don't see them doing anything this year.

JakeRichards
JakeRichards

Yeah!!!It is a great opportunity! Go guys... Way to go..! Excellent summary in the best site.