Lakers’ magic number is 5 to clinch the Pacific

The Lakers dropped their magic number to win the 3rd seed in the Western conference and the Pacific division title to 5 after their 103-97 win over the Denver Nuggets Friday night. The Lakers have 6 games remaining on their schedule and the Clippers, who are 1 and 1/2 games back of the Lakers in the standings, have 7 games remaining. With the Lakers owning the tie breaker over the Clippers due to winning the season series 2 to 1, the Clippers will have to get 1 game ahead of the Lakers in order to take the Pacific division crown. The Lakers’ magic number will go down with every win or Clippers lost; once it hits zero the Lakers will clinch the Pacific division. The Clippers play the Golden State Warriors today at Staples Center. The Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks at Staples on Sunday.

The Lakers will also have to hold off the Memphis Grizzlies in the battle for the 3rd seed in the west. The Grizzlies are 3 games back of the Lakers, but only 2 back on the loss side. The Lakers magic number to beat out Memphis in the standings is 4. The Lakers also won the season series against the Grizzlies at 2 to 1. The Grizzlies take on the Jazz tonight in Memphis.

The Lakers have the toughest schedule of the 3 teams vying for the 3rd spot, while the Grizzlies have by far the easiest road the rest of the way. Here is how the 3 teams remaining schedule pans out:

Lakers:                                          Clippers:                                      Grizzlies:

4/15:  Dallas                               4/14: Golden State                   4/14: Utah

4/17:  San Antonio                 4/16: Oklahoma City                4/15: at New Orleans

4/18: at Golden State             4/18: at Denver                          4/17: at Minnesota

4/20: at San Antonio             4/19: at Phoenix                        4/18: New Orleans

4/22: Oklahoma City              4/22: New Orleans                    4/20: at Charlotte

4/26: at Sacramento              4/24: at Atlanta                          4/21: Portland

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>4/25: at New York                    4/23: Cleveland

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>4/26: Orlando

- Fern Rea “@fullcourtfern”