With their 122-110 loss to the Lakers last night, the Suns moved within a game of Los Angeles for the No. 2 seed in the lottery.
Not only did the loss help Phoenix “gain” ground in the standings, the Suns weakened a rival. If the Lakers’ 2017 first-round pick lands outside the top three, it goes to the 76ers — and Los Angeles’ 2019 first-rounder goes to the Magic. Otherwise, Orlando gets second-rounders. As much as improving lottery position helps Phoenix, the Lakers had a lot more riding on this game.