Steve Nash dribbles past the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry… (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)
The Lakers had one of their best nights of the season on Wednesday -- while taking the day off.
In ninth place in the Western Conference standings, the Lakers (28-30) need some help if they are to catch at least one of three teams ahead of them: the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.
The Rockets (31-28) fell in Houston on Wednesday after Monta Ellis of the Milwaukee Bucks nailed a wild buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 110-107 win.
The Jazz (31-27) were beaten soundly by the Atlanta Hawks, 102-91, losing their eighth game at home.
Despite a stunning 54 points from Stephen Curry, the Warriors lost in New York to the Knicks, 109-105. Curry hit 11 of 13 three-point shots but it wasn't enough.
The Lakers currently trail Houston by 2 1/2 games, Utah by three and the Warriors by five.
The Lakers still play the Warriors twice before the end of the regular season. They'll also host the Rockets in their final game of the season. The Jazz series is complete, with Utah owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Of course, the Lakers need to win at a high rate to have a chance at eighth place or better. They'll host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Hawks on Sunday.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.