The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets cleared up the top of the Western Conference playoff picture Tuesday night by winning.
But the middle was still a mess heading into the final day of the season.
The Lakers routed Sacramento 124-101 to take the No. 1 seed in the West. New Orleans did its part, beating the Clippers 114-92 to lock up the Southwest Division title and the No. 2 seed.
``A lot of people had us not even getting in the playoffs,'' New Orleans center Tyson Chandler said. ``I don't think any of us believed that. We all believed that we're one of the better teams in the conference. If you win this division it says a lot about the team because this is the best division in basketball.''
There remains a chance for a four-way tie for third place, depending on the results of games Wednesday, the last night of the regular season.
San Antonio, Utah, Phoenix and Houston will be battling for that spot, which would go to the Spurs if they beat the Northwest Division champion Jazz. However, Utah would move up to No. 3 with a victory because it would then own the tiebreaker advantage against all three teams.
The bottom two spots also remain unsettled. Dallas will earn the No. 7 seed by beating New Orleans on Wednesday. If the Mavericks lose, Denver would finish seventh if it beats visiting Memphis.
The East playoff bracket is set. Top-seed Boston faces No. 8 Atlanta; No. 2 Detroit opens against No. 7 Philadelphia; Southeast Division champion Orlando is the third seed and meets No. 6 Toronto; and defending East champ Cleveland and No. 5 Washington hook up for the third straight year in the first round.
Advertisement

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Pacers vs. Lakers Prediction The Pacers are a small favorite on the road tonight against the Lakers at 10:30PM ET. Are they a good bet to cover the spread?
Thumbnail Breakneck pace expected at Toyota Center At 33-12, Houston clearly has the attention of the basketball world. But can Mike D’Antoni’s no-holds-barred attack find success against the class of the...
Thumbnail Kings vs. Grizzlies Prediction The Grizzlies will host the Kings at 8:00PM ET tonight coming off a loss. Is Memphis a good bet to cover?
Thumbnail Jazz vs. Mavericks Pick Can the Utah Jazz take care of business on the road against the Dallas Mavericks when the two meet at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Bucks vs. Magic Prediction Will tonight's Bucks and Magic matchup go over the betting total for bettors when the teams square off at 7:00PM ET?

NBA Team Pages