That loss coupled with the
The elimination is nothing more than a formality.
Even though the eighth-place
Even if the Lakers can won all of their 16 remaining games, and even if the Grizzlies lost all 17 left on their schedule, the two teams would finish with identical 38-44 records.
And, if the impossible actually happened, the Lakers would own the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over the Grizzlies on the basis of conference record. But it wouldn't be a two-way tie.
The Grizzlies still play the Suns (37-28), which means Phoenix is guaranteed another win if Memphis loses out.
So, even if Phoenix lost every other game it had left except for the meeting with Memphis, the Suns would finish with 38 victories along with the Lakers and Grizzlies.
The Lakers would then be eliminated in the three-way tiebreaker, which would go to Memphis with a 5-3 record against the Lakers and Suns. Phoenix would finish in ninth at 4-4 and the Lakers in 10th at 3-5.
That's the math -- a complicated way to look at what has been obvious for months but wasn't official until Friday night.
The Lakers' season truly ended on Dec. 17 when