What’s at stake for Lakers in regular season finale against Pelicans

What’s at stake for Lakers in regular season finale against Pelicans

No NBA games were scheduled for Saturday before every team is in action on Sunday for the final day of the regular season.

The Los Angeles Lakers have a huge showdown against the New Orleans Pelicans, with tipoff set for 12:30 p.m. in the Big Easy.

There are massive postseason implications for the Lakers. If they can beat the Pelicans, they will be locked in as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

If L.A. is victorious, it will play either New Orleans or the Phoenix Suns in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament for the right to advance to the playoffs and take on the No. 2 seed in the first round.

The benefit of a win over the Pelicans in the regular season finale for the Lakers is that they would have to win just one game to get into the playoffs. If L.A. were to lose its first Play-In game, it would have to defeat the winner of the matchup between the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds.

Things get complicated for the Lakers if they lose in New Orleans on Sunday. L.A. would need both the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors to be defeated in their final games of the NBA regular season in order to remain as the eighth seed.

The No. 9 seeded Kings host the lowly Portland Trail Blazers, while Stephen Curry and the Warriors will be home to the lottery-bound Utah Jazz. The two contests will also tip off at 12:30 p.m.

L.A. sits a game above both Sacramento and Golden State, but if all three teams finish with the same record, the Lakers would finish at the No. 10 seed in the west because of the NBA’s tiebreakers.

We will know by late Sunday afternoon who L.A. will be playing in the opening round of the NBA Play-In Tournament.

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