Clippers’ magic number over Lakers is just three games

Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) shoots over New York Knicks big man Kurt Thomas.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers lost to the Kings on Tuesday night in Sacramento, 116-101 -- delaying the inevitable. At some point in the next couple of weeks, the Clippers (46-22) will clinch the Pacific Division.

The Golden State Warriors (39-30) are in second place - the Lakers (36-33) in third.

The Clippers’ magic number over the Warriors is seven - their magic number over the Lakers is just three.


Any combination of Clippers’ victories and Lakers’ losses that add up to three would do the trick. The Clippers have already won the season series, handling the Lakers three times already (with one to go).

While the Clippers have struggled with injuries a bit as of late, the Lakers simply aren’t going to be able to catch their Staples Center roommates.

Once the Clippers clinch, they’re guaranteed no lower than a four seed in the West.


Seven-man rotation a symptom, not the cause of Phoenix loss

Pau Gasol’s foot improves but still no timetable for his return

Kobe Bryant as assistant coach?

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.