The Clippers hold a 2-1 series lead over the Lakers, with Frank Vogel’s side getting their first win over their intercity rivals on March 8. Their fourth and final matchup of the season was originally scheduled for April 9.
Here’s the Lakers’ full, eight-game schedule, courtesy of ESPN:
Game 1: Clippers
Game 2: Raptors
Game 3: Jazz
Game 4: Thunder
Game 5: Rockets
Game 6: Pacers
Game 7: Nuggets
Game 8: Kings
All but one of the Lakers’ games will nationally televised. The Lakers-Clippers game on March 8 averaged a 2.3 rating and 3.62 million viewers on ABC, which made it the second-most viewed non-Christmas Day game of the season, according to Sports Media Watch. The game that pulled in the biggest audience this season was the Lakers’ first matchup with the Clippers on Opening Night.
That couldn’t have played a role in the NBA’s decision to make it the marquee matchup of the season’s first day back, right? No, the schedule is totally random! — just like the MLS draw that saw both LA teams end up in the game group. Random.
The Lakers’ game against the Clippers is the only game of real consequence on their schedule. Even then, they’d have to lose a lot more games to for a loss against the Clippers because the Lakers are currently 5.5 games ahead of the Clippers in the standings.
That being said, their schedule is no cakewalk, as all but one of their games will be against teams currently slotted for a playoff spot. Of note, the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers are the only teams the Lakers haven’t beaten this season. While they might not see either team in the playoffs, it doesn’t hurt to have a little more film on each team (in addition to the bragging rights that come with beating every team in the league at least once).
The Lakers and Rockets are also tied in their season series, and with the success they had going small in their matchup after the All-Star break, that will be a game worth tuning into because they might actually see each other in the postseason.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.