Lakers clinch playoff berth after Jazz loss

The storyline surrounding the Lakers’ 2012-13 season won’t involve this talented and underachieving bunch missing the playoffs for only the third time since 1976.

With the Utah Jazz losing Wednesday night to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers officially clinched the playoffs. The only pressing question remains which opponent they will play. If the Lakers win tonight against the Houston Rockets, they will play the San Antonio Spurs as the seventh seed. A Lakers loss to Houston would propel them to a first-round matchup against the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Lakers will play Game 1 at a time to be determined on Sunday either in San Antonio or Oklahoma City. Although the Lakers have downplayed the implications, the Lakers could have an easier time matching up with the Spurs. They beat them this week and would be more suited in matching up against an older team. Meanwhile, the Lakers have lost six consecutive times in Oklahoma City and hasn’t shown consistently they can handle its speed and athleticism.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at

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