The Lakers (25-29) have caught the Portland Trail Blazers with the same record, although Portland temporarily has the tie-breaker. The Lakers and Blazers still play twice before season's end. Portland has also lost six in a row.
The Houston Rockets (29-26) are in eighth place, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers. The two teams meet on the final day of the season, which could tip the tie-breaker to the Lakers.
The Utah Jazz (31-24) are in seventh but they've already finished their season series against the Lakers, winning two of three. The Jazz have won three straight, pulling ahead of the Lakers by 5 1/2 games.
The Warriors (30-23) are also 5 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers with a six-game advantage in the loss column. The Lakers have beaten Golden State twice already this season, with two to play.
If the Lakers complete the sweep, they'll own the tie-breaker. Of course, the Lakers will still need to make up four games in the loss column to catch Golden State.
The Warriors control their own destiny, but if they keep slumping, the Lakers may find another path to the postseason.ALSO: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.