Clippers NBA Playoff Chances Skyrocket After Crucial Win vs. Lakers

Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell

Getty Los Angeles Clippers teammates Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell

The Los Angeles Clippers entered Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers in a tie for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. They held a slight edge over the San Antonio Spurs before the night’s action tipped off, but Gregg Popovich’s team pulled off an impressive win over the Denver Nuggets. While remaining ahead of the Spurs was important, a win over the Lakers Tuesday had the potential to be a game-changer.

This game was far more important to the Lakers, who entered with a 30-33 record than it was to Clippers (started the night at 36-29). But by picking up the key win, Doc Rivers’ squad now holds a 2-1 series lead on the season. These two teams meet again on Friday, April 5, just prior to the end of the year, and the Clippers made sure they did their all to keep that game from having a chance to completely ruin their solid year.

It was a rough night for the Lakers, as the 113-105 loss dropped them further down the standings. As things stand, the Clippers and Spurs are in good position to earn a playoff spot, while LeBron James and company move to 5.5 back of the No. 8 seed. On top of that, the Sacramento Kings picked up a win over the New York Knicks, and they look like far more of a playoff threat than the Lakers, holding a 2.5 game edge on them.

Clippers Updated Playoff Chances & Odds After Lakers Game

We evaluated the two different systems which breakdown playoff chances and outlooks. Both come from FiveThirtyEight and includes their Elo system, which was the original system created by the site. The second is called CARMELO, which features “constantly updating player ratings to track just how much talent is on each team.”

The CARMELO system factors in things such as injuries and disgruntled teammates, for starters. We’ll look at the Clippers’ playoff chances following the crucial win, with the first number being the projection prior to tip and the second being after the night wrapped up.

  • CARMELO system: From 89 percent to 96 percent
  • Elo system: From 93 percent to 97 percent

While the Clippers’ chances changed quite a bit, the Lakers took yet another hit. They were already listed at 1.1 percent (Elo) and six percent (CARMELO), but those numbers dropped to less than one percent and exactly one percent after this game.

Clippers Use Well-Rounded Effort to Defeat Lakers

The Clippers had six players score in double figures in this game and were led by Danilo Gallinari’s 23 points and six rebounds. Lou Williams tacked on 21 points and five assists off the bench while Montrezl Harrell was also superb for the second unit, posting a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

While James scored 27, it wasn’t enough for the shorthanded Lakers, who were without Brandon Ingram and Tyson Chandler, as well as Lonzo Ball, who’s been sidelined since before the All-Star Break. Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as one of the bright spots for the Lakers.

READ NEXT: Lakers News: Analyst Says ‘Something Is Not Right’ With LeBron James

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