Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports:
The Lakers are 17-1 since the All-Star break, and have won nine in a row.
The Spurs have stumbled, losing six straight, the latest an overtime defeat to the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
That pulled the Lakers to within 11/2 games of the reeling Spurs, whom they trailed by nine games at the break. With seven regular-season games remaining, the Lakers can put more pressure on the Spurs, who have six games left.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum said what Coach Phil Jackson would not.
“Yeah, that’s the goal. We want to get the best record in the league,” Bynum said. “We want to be in first place. We still have a game against them [April 12], too, which is really big.”
As for Jackson, he pointed to Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, then to Tuesday’s game against the Jazz at Staples Center, and then the trip to Golden State on Wednesday and to Portland next Friday.
Jackson said if the Lakers get through those games, then he’s willing to talk about the last three, which will be against Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the regular-season finale at Sacramento.