Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press
Faced with arguably their biggest game of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers muscled past the Los Angeles Lakers 106-101, breaking a tie for the sixth seed in the Western Conference, clinching a season-series victory over the defending champions and retaining control of their play-in tournament destiny.
Only the top six seeds in each conference will advance to the first round of the postseason automatically. Teams that finish seventh through tenth place will participate in a single-elimination play-in tournament beginning May 18.
One night after getting blown out by the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center—a game that saw Anthony Davis exit after nine minutes with back spasms—a shorthanded Lakers team suffered its eighth loss in its last 10 games.
Without LeBron James