The Lakers (42-37) started the season as a terrible road team, but over the last 20 away games, they’ve won at the same rate as some of the better teams in the Western Conference.
After completing their away schedule Wednesday night, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 113-106, the Lakers finished the year on the road at 16-25.
With injuries and coaching changes complicating matters, the Lakers won just five of their first 21 road games (23.8%). Since then, the team has won 11 of 20 (55%).
If the Lakers had won consistently at 55% throughout the year, they’d have finished at 23 road wins. Currently the second-place Spurs (57-21) have 23 wins outside of San Antonio (with two away games remaining).
Now the focus turns to winning the final three games at home (Golden State, San Antonio and Houston). If the Lakers do hold on to make the playoffs, they won’t have home-court advantage in any series -- winning on the road becomes paramount.
Presently, the Lakers are lined up to start the first round against the 57-21 Oklahoma City Thunder, but they need to hold off the ninth-place Utah Jazz (41-38) to qualify for the post-season.