DENVER — The Lakers can clinch the homecourt advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs by beating the Denver Nuggets here tonight.
With eight games remaining in the regular season, the Lakers have a 55-19 record. They already have clinched the Pacific Division championship. Denver, the leader in the Midwest Division, has the second-best record in the Western Conference at 48-26.
The Nuggets have won 20 consecutive home games, losing for the last time at McNichols Arena Jan. 5 to the Clippers. But Denver has lost its last seven home games against the Lakers. The Nuggets, however, beat the Lakers twice this season at the Forum.
The Lakers have won 13 of their last 14 games and have the National Basketball Assn.'s second-best record, four games behind Boston. If the playoffs began today, the Lakers would have the homecourt advantage against every team except the Celtics.