Take Two for April 18, 2013

Both LA pro-basketball teams make the playoffs

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots over Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 99-95 in overtime.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

(L-R) Blake Griffin #32, Chris Paul #3 and Jamal Crawford #11 of the Los Angeles Clippers celebrate in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on April 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 93-77.

Back in late February, the Lakers had a losing record. They were dealing with injuries, inconsistent play, a new coach and their revered owner Doctor Jerry Buss passed away. 

The playoffs seemed like a pipe dream, and then Kobe Bryant put himself out there. He guaranteed the Lakers would make the playoffs and virtually put the team on his back. Bryant was playing full games with no rest and the Lakers kept inching up the standings. 

Last Friday, however, Bryant tore his Achilles tendon in the Lakers win over the Golden State Warriors ending his season. While the Lakers were in control of their playoff destiny, things were doubt because they would have go on without their captian and leading scorer. 

Last night, the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets to end the regular season and will take on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round starting Sunday. Not that Lakers fans leaving the game had any doubt:

While the Lakers certainly had all the drama, the Clippers had gotten in to the playoffs weeks ago. 
They wrapped their best season in franchise history and will open the playoffs Saturday verses the Memphis Grizzlies in Staples Center.

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