Lakers clinch the 3rd seed and Pacific Division title

The Clippers hopes of winning the franchises first ever Pacific Division title will have to wait another season in order for that to become a reality. The Clippers Tuesday night’s 109-102 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena clinched the Pacific division title and 3rd seed in the Western Conference for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers will now have to wait to find out who their opponent will be in the 1st round. As it currently stands today the Denver Nuggets hold the 6th seed and would stand to face the Lakers in the 1st round if the playoffs started today. The Denver Nuggets play at the Oklahoma City Thunder today. The Dallas Mavericks can still move up to 6th with a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday combined with two Nuggets losses in their last two games.

The Lakers were 3 and 1 against the Denver Nuggets and swept the regular season series against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, beating them in all 4 meetings.

The Clippers are now locked in the 4th/5th match-up in the Western Conference with the Memphis Grizzlies. What is still up for grabs, however, is who of the two teams will have home court advantage in the first round. The Clippers can clinch the 4th seed and home court in the 1st round with a win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday or a Memphis Grizzlies loss at home against Orlando on Thursday.

The 2012 NBA playoffs will start this coming Saturday. The Los Angeles Lakers will likely open the 1st round of the playoffs on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.

– Fern Rea “@fullcourtfern”