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Lakers vs. Kings Preview: It’s tankin’ time

The Lakers can roll out their tank tonight at Staples Center.

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday to cap off what has been an exciting season series between the two teams.

The Lakers hold a 2-1 series lead over the Kings, with Sacramento’s only win coming in December. For those that remember, that game ended with Bogdan Bogdanovic draining a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Sacramento will be looking to replicate that result on Sunday, as they’re still chasing the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Their odds are slim, but they still technically have a chance.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are just hoping to come out of the game unscathed after being eliminated from playoff contention on Friday. While a win to snap the team’s five-game losing streak would be nice, a loss would be better for the Lakers in the long run.

With a 31-41 record, the Lakers currently have the 10th-best odds to win the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14. Those odds aren’t terrible, but they could be better, and a loss to the Kings on Sunday could improve them.

The Lakers are just 2.5 games back of having the sixth-worst record in the NBA, and they have two games against teams that are currently below them in the standings: the New Orleans Pelicans and Washington Wizards.

Tanking doesn’t have the best reputation around the NBA, and some fans even still have a hard time talking themselves into it, but the lower the Lakers fall in the standings, the higher their chances of landing a top-five pick are. That’s a valuable asset to have, whether they plan on keeping it or packaging in a trade for another All-Star.

The good news is with all of the injuries on the roster, they might not even have to try to lose — they just will.

Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. PST on Spectrum Sportsnet.

Injury Update:

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