Lakers Standings For NBA Playoffs: Inching Closer To Moving Out Of Play-In Tournament
Anthony Davis Rui Hachimura Lakers
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed back point guard D’Angelo Russell to the lineup on Friday night and he brought the spark the team needed against the Toronto Raptors. Russell knocked down all four of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to score 16 of his 28 points in the final period and push the Lakers to a huge victory over the Toronto Raptors. As is the case every night, the win has some serious impact on the Western Conference standings for the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

The Lakers have won three straight games and four of their last five, and now sit just one game below .500 at 33-34. Going into Saturday night’s action, the Lakers remain in ninth place in the West but are tied in the loss column with the eighth-place Minnesota Timberwolves who are 34-34 after an overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets. This is an important distinction as the seventh and eighth-place teams in the Play-In Tournament have two chances to win one game, while being in ninth or tenth requires you to win two straight.

But the Lakers still have a chance to climb even higher in the standings as they are just one game behind the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors who are tied for sixth and only 1.5 behind the Los Angeles Clippers for fifth.

Russell’s return provided a huge boost for the Lakers, but just as importantly, the excellent play of the role players continued as they defeated the Raptors despite a rough night from superstar Anthony Davis.

With the Raptors defense swarming Davis all night Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves all scored in double-figures to carry the offensive load. Though he finished with just eight points on only seven shot attempts, Davis contributed in other ways with nine rebounds and four blocks.

Lakers standings update

5. Clippers (35-33)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Knicks (March 11), vs. Warriors (March 15), vs. Magic (March 18)

6. Mavericks (34-33)

Upcoming schedule: @ Grizzlies (March 11), vs. Grizzlies (March 13), @ Spurs (March 15)

7. Warriors (34-33)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Bucks (March 11), vs. Suns (March 13), @ Clippers (March 15)

8. Timberwolves (34-34)

Upcoming schedule: @ Hawks (March 13), vs. Celtics (March 15), @ Bulls (March 17)

9. Lakers (33-34)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Knicks (March 12), @ Pelicans (March 14), @ Rockets (March 15)

10. Pelicans (32-34)

Upcoming schedule: vs. Thunder (March 11), vs. Trail Blazers (March 12), vs. Lakers (March 14)

11. Jazz (32-35)

Upcoming schedule: @ Hornets (March 11), @ Heat (March 13), vs. Celtics (March 18)

12. Thunder (31-35)

Upcoming schedule: @ Pelicans (March 11), @ Spurs (March 12), vs. Nets (March 14)

13. Trail Blazers (31-36)

Upcoming schedule: @ Pelicans (March 12), Knicks (March 14), vs. Celtics (March 17)

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