On their day off Wednesday, the Lakers were tied with the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference standings.
The New Orleans Hornets defeated Portland, 99-63, on Wednesday night, dropping the Blazers to 25-28, the same record the Lakers have after a 91-85 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
The Lakers are still technically in 10th place. The Lakers and Blazers have split their two games, with the next tiebreaker based on conference record. Portland is 16-16 and the Lakers are 14-18 against conference opponents.
Portland is off until after the All-Star break. The Lakers host the Clippers on Thursday.
A Lakers win would move the team into ninth pace with two left to play against the Blazers this season.
The more difficult job for the Lakers will be catching the Utah Jazz (30-24) and/or Houston Rockets (29-25).
The Rockets are in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, visiting the Clippers.