With a hard-fought victory in Indiana on Friday night, the Lakers gained a full game on the Golden State Warriors, who lost at home to the Chicago Bulls.
The sixth-place Warriors (37-30) are now just a half-game ahead of the Houston Rockets (36-30). The two will meet Sunday in Houston. The Rockets have won the three previous meetings this season.
If the Lakers handle the Sacramento Kings (23-43) at Staples Center on Sunday, they'll gain a game on the loser of the Houston-Golden State game.
If that's the Rockets, the Lakers would be just a half-game out of seventh place. If the Warriors lose, the Lakers would finish the weekend just one game behind Golden State, which would then be in seventh place.