Mavs, Lakers, Jazz battling for No. 8 seed

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
11:52
AM CT


The Mavericks, Lakers and Jazz each have 11 games left on their 82-game schedules.

With an assist from Gregory Found from ESPN Stats & Information, here's how the race for No. 8 in the West breaks down among the three teams in four key categories:

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Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss his recent conversation with Dez Bryant, the Cowboys' attempt at landing free agents without money and the Mavs' playoff push.

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  • Schedules

    * The Mavs play six of their final 11 games at home.

    * The Lakers also play six of their final 11 games at home.

    * The Jazz, who have the worst road record (10-27) of any team still in playoff contention, play seven of their final 11 games at home.

  • Strength of schedule

    * The Mavs play the 16th-toughest remaining schedule in terms of opponent winning percentage: .506.

    * The Lakers play the seventh-toughest: .523.

    * The Jazz play the 13th-toughest: .508.

  • Back-to-backs

    * The Mavs have two back-to-backs left: 1. Denver (A)/Sacramento (A); 2. New Orleans (A)/Memphis (H).

    * The Lakers also have two left: 1. Minnesota (A)/Milwaukee (A); 2. New Orleans (H)/Portland (A).

    * The Jazz have one left: Portland (A)/Brooklyn (H).

  • Tiebreakers

    * The Mavericks have already lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Utah by losing the season series (2-1) with no games left between them.

    * The Lakers have also lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Jazz by losing the season series (2-1) with no games left between them.

    * The Lakers currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas, but that could change April 2 when the Mavs go to Staples Center to try to even the season series at 2-2.

    * If the Mavericks and Lakers wind up splitting their season series and need to break a tie between the teams for that last playoff spot, conference record will be the determining factor because the teams are in different divisions. The Lakers (19-23) currently have a slight edge on Dallas (19-24), but those records obviously can change a lot between now and the end of the regular season.

    * The Jazz have likewise already clinched the three-way tiebreaker if the teams all end up deadlocked for the No. 8 seed at season's end because they sport the best record in games among the three teams at 4-2 with no games left. The Lakers are 3-3 against the other two teams with the April 2 game against the Mavs remaining; Dallas is 2-4 against the other two with one game left.
  • Marc Stein | email

    Senior Writer, ESPN.com
    • Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
    • Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
    • Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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    TEAM LEADERS

    POINTS
    Monta Ellis
    PTS AST STL MIN
    20.7 4.6 1.7 34.1
    OTHER LEADERS
    ReboundsT. Chandler 11.9
    AssistsR. Rondo 8.8
    StealsR. Rondo 1.8
    BlocksT. Chandler 1.4