Pacific Notes: Lakers, Allen, Myers, Curry, Leonard

It won’t be easy for the Lakers to reach the top six in the West, but they haven’t been looking like a play-in team, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. L.A. blew out Cleveland this afternoon to move into eighth place, which is the team’s highest spot since late December. With nine wins in their last 10 games, Anthony Davis believes the Lakers are ready for whatever challenges they face in the postseason.

“We’re very confident in our ballclub,” he said after posting 22 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and three steals. “We laugh about, like, ‘Oh, winning nine out of 10,’ and we haven’t went anywhere [in the standings]. So, it’s how good the West is. But we’re confident, very confident in our ballclub and any time we step on the floor.”

At 45-33, L.A. is a half-game behind New Orleans and a half-game ahead of Sacramento in a tight race for seedings. The Lakers trail Phoenix by a game-and-a-half for the coveted sixth spot, but they’re two games back in the loss column and will need some help to catch the Suns.

“I think the biggest difference is just that we’re just having fun,” Davis added. “We’re holding each other accountable. If somebody messes up we’re yelling, screaming at him. But nobody is taking it personal. Because we all know what we’re here for, to try to win. So we’re having fun, we’re having a great time out there playing basketball, and we’re staying together.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns coach Frank Vogel indicated that he might consider replacing Grayson Allen with Royce O’Neale in the starting lineup depending on the postseason matchup, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “Grayson has been our starter, I expect it to stay that way,” Vogel said, “but you get into or near the playoffs, everything is on the table.” 
  • Appearing on JJ Redick’s podcast, former Warriors general manager Bob Myers said the team was never able to determine who provided the media with video of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole at practice (video link from ClutchPoints). Myers said the organization conducted an investigation and even brought in a third party in an effort to find the culprit.
  • The Warriors will rest Stephen Curry for Sunday’s game with Utah, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga are both listed as questionable.
  • Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard will miss his fourth straight game Sunday against Cleveland for treatment and recovery on his right knee, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
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