|Written by Michael|
But with the losing trend reversing, the Spurs have locked up the first place spot with their win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
San Antonio's record is now 60-19 on the season and they will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Spurs also hold a two game advantage over the Chicago Bulls, the top team in the East. The team has won three straight after the six-game skid. And their win against the Sacramento Kings was their largest margin of victory all season at 32 points.
The Golden State Warriors handed the Los Angeles Lakers their third loss in a row on Wednesday night in a 95-87 performance. With that loss, the Lakers will be unable to catch up to the Spurs. The momentum they wanted going into the playoffs is also broken, as the team has seemingly returned to their pre-All Star Break apathetic playing.
The Lakers will have a tough time getting the three-peat again this year with the way they have tended to play. Although they have some amazing hot streaks, they also seem to lapse into a lethargic pattern where they are happy throwing up bad shots. Golden State is one of the smallest teams in the league, and they pulled out a decisive victory over the defending champs.
The loss to the Utah Jazz by a point on Tuesday was bad enough. But in the Golden State game, the Lakers were up 16-4 being being outscored badly almost the entire rest of the game. The Warriors went on a 70-39 tear until the beginning of the fourth quarter. But by then, it was already too late for Los Angeles to make a run.
That the Lakers are on a three-game losing streak is acceptable only in the context of the Dallas Mavericks' current four-game losing streak and the recent six-game streak experienced by the Spurs. If the Mavs were also not struggling down the stretch, the Lakers might be in danger of losing their second place spot in the West. As it is, they are 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the second best place in the NBA and 4 1/2 behind the Spurs.