The LA Lakers and Kings each took a loss on Friday as the playoff picture in the Western Conference begins to pan itself out.
Friday night was big for the LA Clippers, as they were able to get a win against one of their in-state rivals, the Sacramento Kings. With the win, the Clippers leapfrogged the San Antonio Spurs in the standings, moving from eighth to seventh. The Clippers have surprised many with their consistency, even after moving star forward Tobias Harris. It’s been a “win by committee” mentality for the Clippers lately, with no true star taking over, but instead a number of consistently decent performances. On Friday, seven Clippers were in double digits, with the highest scorer, forward Landry Shamet, dropping 20 points.
Despite a 31 point game by both LeBron James and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers fell to the Bucks on Friday night, 131-120. Since the Lakers were unable to get a big win over the Bucks at home on Friday, they also suffered the same drop in the standings as the Kings experienced. The Lakers now trail the eighth place position by three and a half games. The next few games give the Lakers a chance to get back in the playoff race in the west. First, the Lakers will look to bounce back in a very winnable game against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. After that, the Lakers have one of their biggest games of the season, with the Clippers on the schedule for Monday. If LeBron and the Lakers can win their next two games, they will put themselves right back in the conversation for a postseason spot in the west.