LAst Night's Action: Lakers Are Officially in the Playoffs
LA Lakers defeat San Antonio Spurs 102-95. The Lakers started out strong in the first quarter shooting 64%, but the mileage from the road trip started to show in the second half. What was once an 18 point lead dwindled away to just two points with two minutes left in the game. But the Lakers withstood everything the Spurs threw at them giving them a crucial road win. The Lakers have yet to lose to the same opponent twice, and the win gives them their 20th Pacific Division title. They are the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot, and with the Spurs now 8 1/2 games out of first place look to have firm control of the best record in the West.
USC Trojans defeat Cal Golden Bears 79-75. The last time these two teams met, the Bears squeaked by with an overtime win. The game was all it was advertised to be. While the Bears never held the lead in the game, they made it very interesting down the stretch with three-point shooting from Jerome Randle. Taj Gibson had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Trojans, but it was Daniel Hackett's clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch which sealed the win for the Trojans.
UCLA Bruins defeat Washington State Cougars. The Bruins shut down the Cougars for most of the first half jumping out to an 18 point lead. The Cougars would cut the deficit by halftime after going on a 13-4 run. But Washington State was just outmatched by UCLA with only Aron Baynes scoring in double digits with 22 points. The Bruins will face the Trojans Friday night.