By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a tight spot trying to win the 8th and final spot of the western conference playoffs. Losing to their rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, just made it worse. The Lakers lost to the Clippers 95 to 109 making it the first time the Clippers have won the season series against their rivals with a sweep. The Lakers played a good first half as they looked to go inside to Dwight Howard but they could not find success in the second half. Both Kobe Bryant and Howard led the team scoring 25 points each.
The win gives the Clippers their first division title in franchise history. With plenty of more important banners of their own, the Lakers had bigger problems to worry about than having their rivals win the division title. Kobe and the Lakers find themselves out of playoffs with only five games left in the season.
The Lakers are at the 9th spot right behind the Utah Jazz who would stay at the 8th playoff spot if the two teams were to tie. Steve Nash continues to be doubtful in returning for the next game which means minutes for Kobe Bryant will not be going down during their playoff push. Good news for the purple and gold is that Metta World Peace is having a very good recovery after surgery. It was announced that World Peace would be expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks but he is way ahead of schedule already being listed as game time decision in the team’s next game.
The Utah Jazz have four games left in the season. Their next opponent is the Oklahoma City Thunder who are in second place in the west. After the Thunder the Jazz play the Minnesota Timberwolves two times before taking on the Memphis Grizzlies to bring the regular season to an end. The Lakers will need to win all they can as they take on the New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets. Three of the next 5 opponents for the Lakers are currently in the playoffs. The Lakers take on the Hornets at Staples Center on Wednesday.