The race to the bottom was on display Monday night in Philadelphia, where the Los Angeles Lakers eked out a 113-111 overtime win against the Sixers, thanks to rookie guard Jordan Clarkson’s last-second heroics.
Clarkson hit a baseline floater with .7 to go in the extra session.
Clarkson led the way for the Lakers with a game-high 26 points and eleven dimes.
Per the LA Daily News:
But when the NBA Draft lottery takes place on May 19, Clarkson’s game could also explain why the Lakers (20-53) ended possibly their worst season in franchise history without a lottery pick as a consolation prize. […] “I don’t pay attention to that,” Clarkson said. “We don’t come into the game and say, ‘We need to lose.’ We’re competing hard.”
The Lakers have usually shown that all season, but losses have still piled up amid an injury-ravaged lineup. Hence, the Lakers have the NBA’s fourth-worst record, boast a 10.5 percent chance to nab a No. 1 pick and face an 82.5 percent likelihood in retaining their top five that is otherwise owed to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash trade with Phoenix. […] But the Lakers have a three-game cushion over the Sixers (18-57) for the league’s third-worst record, which would give the Lakers a 15.6 percent chance to secure the top pick and 96 percent chances in keeping their pick. The Lakers also are 4 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota (16-58) and 6 1/2 games over New York (14-60) with nine games remaining.
“I don’t care about that,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It’s all about trying to get better as a basketball team and trying to win games. Whatever happens after that happens. We can’t control that. But one thing we can control is how hard we play.”