The Los Angeles Lakers lost 114-111 against the New Orleans Pelicans after LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned from injury.
The loss dropped the Lakers to 11th place in the Western Conference, one position shy of the play-in round. Two clubs from each conference can advance to the end-of-season play-offs via the play-in rounds. The Lakers dropped their sixth straight game despite James’ 38 points and Davis’ 23 points.
The Pelicans have climbed to ninth place in the Western Conference standings. “It was very much a must-win for us, and we didn’t do it,” James added. On Sunday, the Lakers, who have a 31-46 win-loss record this season, take on the Denver Nuggets in an attempt to catch the San Antonio Spurs, who are in 10th place with a 32-45 record.
“It doesn’t,” James said, “unless it says we’re eliminated.” “We won’t know what our fate is until that time comes, but we don’t know it yet.”
The Phoenix Suns, who have clinched first place in the Western Conference, were defeated 122-114 by the Memphis Grizzlies, who are in second place. Robert Covington scored a career-high 43 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 153-119 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
During the regular season, Covington hit 11 three-pointers to assist the Clippers set a franchise record most three-pointers made. The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry is expected to miss the balance of the regular season as he recovers from a foot ailment that has kept him out of the last seven games.
The Warriors stated that “he will progressively resume individual on-court exercises next week, and his eventual return to practice will be predicated on his sustained improvement.”
On April 10, the Warriors face the Pelicans in their last regular-season game.
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