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NBA playoff picture: Lakers control own destiny; Heat look to clinch home court

Lakers' Kobe Bryant shoots over the BlazersKobe Bryant and Co. could strengthen their hold on the No. 8 seed with a win over the Blazers. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Here's what's at stake for playoff-contending teams Wednesday night:

Western Conference

Lakers at Blazers (10 p.m. ET): The Lakers (41-37) can grab a one-game lead over the idle Jazz (41-38) for the No. 8 seed with a win against Portland, which has lost eight in a row.

Spurs at Nuggets (10:30 p.m.): A victory would move the Spurs (57-20) one game ahead of the idle Thunder (57-21) for the No. 1 seed. A loss would drop the Spurs into a tie with the Thunder, who have the inside track on the tiebreaker because of a better conference record. The Nuggets (53-24) can strengthen their hold on the No. 3 seed with a victory. They lead idle Memphis (53-25) by a half-game and the Clippers (51-26) by two games.

Timberwolves at Clippers (10:30 p.m.): The No. 4 Clippers could climb within a game of the No. 3 seed with a win and a Nuggets loss. Los Angeles, guaranteed a top-four seed as Pacific Division champion, is 1½ games behind No. 5 Memphis for home-court advantage in the first round.

Eastern Conference

Heat at Wizards (7 p.m.): With a win or a Spurs loss, the Heat (61-16) can clinch home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Hawks at Sixers (7 p.m.): The Hawks (42-36) can pull into a virtual tie with idle Chicago (42-35) for the No. 5 seed with a victory in Philadelphia. Atlanta leads Boston (40-37) by 1½ games for the No. 6 seed.

Bucks at Magic (7 p.m.): The No. 8 Bucks (37-40) trail Boston by three games for the seventh seed with five games left.

Nets at Celtics (8 p.m.): With a win and a Hawks loss, the Celtics can close within a half-game of the No. 6 seed. The Nets (45-32) lead the Bulls by three games for home-court advantage in the first and could widen that edge with a win.
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