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Spurs win, Lakers lose — top seed in the West rests in San Antonio

Apr 6, 2011, 2:21 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

I hope y’all like Tex Mex, because the road to the NBA finals in the West runs through San Antonio.

Sure, the two seed Lakers and top seed Spurs play next Tuesday, but now people will want to see that game about as much as they want to listen to a new Go-Go’s album. Or a watch regular season Kansas City Royals game.

Mathmatically the Lakers are still alive, but the Spurs all but wrapped up the top spot in the West they beat the Atlanta Hawks 97-90 in a pretty sloppy game Tuesday. The win kept the Spurs (59-19) two games up on the Lakers in loss column — and three of San Antonio’s four remaining games are against lottery teams. They weren’t likely to lose those if they put out much effort, so even if the Spurs fell to the Lakers (and the Lakers won out) it wouldn’t matter if they won the other three.

Then the Lakers went out and played a sloppy, disinterested game against the Jazz and lost.

The Jazz were one of those lottery teams expected to roll over at the end of the season, but to quote Apollo Creed’s trainer from Rocky, “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!” Gordon Hayward hit a game winning free throw, then Kobe Bryant fumbled the ball out of bounds on the last play and walked off the court staring at his hands in disbelief.

That puts the Lakers at 55-22, 3.5 back with four to play and three back in the loss column.

The Spurs magic number is 2 (any combination of Spurs wins and Lakers losses to reach that number and San Antonio clinches the West). Look for the Lakers to start resting guys as they realize they are the two seed (third seed Dallas is two full games back of Los Angeles and is not going to catch them).

San Antonio does have Chicago just 1.5 games back and the Spurs magic number for the best record in the NBA is 4. Meaning the Spurs still need to get some wins to lock up home court throughout (Chicago still plays Boston, Orlando and has a New York/New Jersey back-to-back left, so there may be losses in their future).

All hail the Spurs. They won the regular season prize. Which is not the big prize they covet, but it does come with home-court advantage. And Tex Mex.

  1. loungefly74 - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    been saying it for a couple weeks now, the #2 seed is a great spot. assuming the top 4 seeds advance, Lakers would match up against the “poor-playoff-playing mavs” while the spurs would butt heads with the mighty thunder. the spurs or thunder will be exhausted after that battle and then have to play the Lakers. this is a good thing…if you’re a Laker fan that is…

  2. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 6, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    As I watched the ball escape the grasp of my dear Kobe, I did walk to the corner of my parents’ basement and cry. But, then I realized it was only one game and it really doesn’t mean much and it was only a one point loss. So, I wipe my tears away and shout “Huzzah, my beloved Lakers! Huzzah!”

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