Now what?

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Lakers slipped 1 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight in the race for the league’s best record. The Lakers (63-17) lost to the Portland Trail Blazers (64-15) and the Cavaliers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers. So, the question is how do the Lakers play it the rest of the way? They’ve clinched the best record in the Western Conference, so beating up on Memphis on Sunday and Utah on Tuesday is probably a waste of time and effort. Rest is probably the best way to go. Phil Jackson has suggested that he would rest key players such as Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the final week. We’ll see what he has to say when he returns to the team after missing tonight’s game to tend to his sore right leg.

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