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Lakers eliminated from playoff contention: How Saturday's results impact the NBA's playoff picture

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With approximately three weeks remaining for the 2019 playoffs, every game matters for the teams in playoff contention.

Every one of the seven games on Saturday's slate of games had playoff implications.

Lakers eliminated from playoff contention

Following a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center, their fifth consecutive defeat, the Lakers are officially eliminated from the 2019 playoffs.

It is the franchise's sixth straight season failing to make the post-season.

For LeBron James, after eight-straight trips to the NBA Finals, it's the first time he won't be playing in the playoffs since 2005.

James finished with 25 points, 14 assists, and nine rebounds on just 8-of-25 shooting from the field, turning the ball over eight times, including a crucial one down the stretch, with the Lakers down by three points with 22.8 seconds remaining.

The Lakers now hold a 31-41 record, sitting in 11th in the Western Conference.

D'Angelo Russell led the Nets with 21 points and 13 assists, while Joe Harris added 26 points, shooting 6-of-8 from the three-point line.

The bottom half of the West playoff picture

Prior to Saturday's games, four teams at the bottom of the playoff standings in the West were all tied with a record of 42-30.

That was definitely going to change with three of the four teams in action.

With the Thunder and Clippers winning their contests and the Spurs dropping their game, here's how the bottom of the West looks now:

Seed Team Record Win % Games behind
#5 Oklahoma City Thunder 43-30 .589 -
#6 LA Clippers 43-30 .589 -
#7 Utah Jazz 42-30 .583 0.5
#8 San Antonio Spurs 42-31 .575 1

The bottom three playoff seeds in the East

It might not be as competitive as the West, but it's quite close in the bottom of the East as well.

Unlike the Western Conference, there's a team currently on the outside that is realistically contending for a spot in the playoffs in the Eas, the Orlando Magic.

Seed Team Record Win % Games behind
#6 Detroit Pistons 37-34 .521 -
#7 Brooklyn Nets 38-36 .514 0.5
#8 Miami Heat 35-37 .486 2.5
#9 Orlando Magic 35-38 .479 3

Denver and Golden State tied at the top

On the third gameday of a four-game East road trip, the Denver Nuggets comfortably beat the New York Knicks by 18 points.

It was their sixth-straight win and tied them up with the Warriors in the battle for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Both teams have a record of 49-22 but the Nuggets have the fourth toughest schedule going forward while the Warriors have the sixth easiest.

Pacers clinch a playoff spot

Without even playing a game on Saturday, the Indiana Pacers have clinched a playoff spot. It came courtesy of the Miami Heat's 29-point loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.

It's the franchise's fourth straight playoff appearance and their eighth in the last nine years.

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