The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors suffered embarrassing losses Sunday night. With the 2022 NBA playoffs quickly approaching, both teams are in danger of losing ground in the Western Conference standings.

The situation is dire in L.A. following the team’s 123-95 loss at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. The No. 10 seed Pelicans are now only 2.5 games behind the No. 9 seed Lakers in the West. If the standings remain unchanged, Los Angeles will face New Orleans in the first round of the play-in tournament.

Los Angeles is only 2.5 games ahead of the No. 11 seed Portland Trail Blazers. Trailing the No. 6 seed Denver Nuggets by 8.5 games, the Lakers are more likely to fall out of the play-in tournament completely than they are to earn a playoff spot in the regular season.

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook had seven turnovers apiece against New Orleans. James managed to score 32 points on 56.5% shooting, while Westbrook scored 16 points on 33% shooting. Westbrook shot 36.3% from the field in February.

Given Westbrook’s struggles and the foot sprain that will keep Anthony Davis sidelined for a few more weeks, at minimum, there isn’t much optimism about the Lakers’ chances of turning the season around. Over their final 22 regular-season games, the Lakers face the most difficult schedule in the West.

The Lakers are betting favorites to miss the playoffs.

The Blazers have the easiest schedule in the NBA for the rest of the season. The Memphis Grizzlies have the West’s second-easiest remaining schedule. It gives the No. 3 seed Grizzlies a real chance to pass the No. 2 seed Warriors in the West standings.

Golden State blew a 19-point, fourth-quarter lead over the Dallas Mavericks in a 107-101 defeat on Sunday. It’s the largest lead that any NBA team has blown in the fourth quarter this season.

In their previous home game, the Warriors blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets.

The Warriors are six games behind the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns. Suns guard Chris Paul could miss six to eight weeks with a thumb injury.

Klay Thompson missed Sunday’s game with an illness. Draymond Green hasn’t played since Jan. 5 because of a back injury. Green is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and his absence has been glaring.

"We played great defense for 36 minutes," Stephen Curry told reporters Sunday. "We felt like we had the game under control. For whatever reason, our energy shifted when we missed a couple of shots, empty possessions. They come down and score, we start getting deflated. And for no reason."

Golden State will play seven straight games against teams that are at least in the play-in tournament. The Warriors have lost five of their last seven games.

The Warriors are four games in the loss column ahead of the No. 4 seed Utah Jazz.

Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches with LeBron James #6
Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches with LeBron James #6 Getty Images | Harry How