The Dallas Mavericks held on to beat the Clippers, 109-102, in overtime Tuesday night, pulling to within one game of the eighth-place Lakers.
The Utah Jazz and Mavericks are tied in the standings at 35-36. Utah has always been a threat to the Lakers (36-35) but now Dallas is now a very real concern.
If the Mavericks win at Staples Center on April 2, they may have the upper hand. In that case, the tiebreaker would go to the team with the best conference record -- a dead heat between the two franchises.
Dallas is set to play a pair of home games against the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, two Eastern Conference playoff teams (currently battling through injuries).