At 55-25, the Dallas Mavericks have tied the Los Angeles Lakers for the Western Conference’s second playoff seed. Because L.A. is a division winner and Dallas is not, the Lakers own the tiebreaker over the Mavericks at the moment. However, the Mavs can seize control of the second seed if they finish with a record outright better than Los Angeles’.
To do that, the Mavericks need to win their remaining two games and the Lakers have to lose at least once. Dallas’ schedule includes a visit to Houston (Monday evening) and a home date against New Orleans (Wednesday). The Mavericks are 3-0 against the Rockets and 1-2 against the Hornets so far this season.
The Lakers, meanwhile, host the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, then fly to Sacramento to visit the Kings in what could be the last NBA game ever played in California’s capital. L.A. is 1-2 against the Spurs and 2-1 versus the Kings. Notably, the Lakers have lost five straight games, their longest skid since they lost seven straight from March 2nd-15th, 2007.