first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLuke Walton has said the Lakers (33-43) should focus on playing their own game rather than try to serve as a playoff spoiler. The two objectives inherently go hand-in-hand. Wins will benefit the Lakers and disrupt the natural order of the playoff race.That said, after scoring 83 points and losing to the 25-win Kings on Sunday, those victories might be hard to count on.“We’re going to have to play a lot better for the remainder of the season,” Walton said. “We’ve got some really good teams that are coming to town that are playing for something pretty significant. So we’re going to have to elevate our game a lot or it’s going to be a long six games to end the season.”Either way, Tuesday will mark the Lakers’ final game outside of Staples Center, with four of their final games home games and the finale against the Clippers a designated road game.“We just want to go out with a bang, period,” Kuzma said. “Whether it’s last road game or last home game we really just want to keep capitalizing, keep winning so.” HART OF TEXASHere’s a back-to-back-to-back you don’t see every day: After logging 26 minutes in the Lakers’ loss on Friday, Josh Hart was on a private jet to San Antonio to cheer for his alma mater Villanova in the men’s NCAA semifinals.In a locker room with diverse college representations, Hart found himself going into the finale of March Madness at odds with General Manager Rob Pelinka, who won a national title with Michigan in 1989.It raises the question: Can a rookie talk trash to the man who made the call to draft him?“That’s allowed,” Hart said. “I can talk trash to anybody – besides Jesus Christ, that’s the only one I will not talk trash to.”Hart was on the court when Villanova won the title in 2016. He described the run to the title as “the most fun you ever have playing basketball, especially when you win it.”“We were just having fun,” Hart said. “The Final Four can be a circus at times, but that’s some of the most fun basketball you’ll ever have.” SALT LAKE CITY — It will be at least another year before the Lakers are in the playoff race themselves. For a franchise on the rise, however, the final six games of this current campaign present an opportunity to play a hand in the fortunes of teams jockeying for postseason position.If teams such as the Jazz, Spurs and Timberwolves are going to reach the playoffs, the Lakers can at least make them earn it.“Every team is going to play their A-game,” rookie forward Kyle Kuzma said following the Lakers’ 84-83 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday evening. “Because they’re trying to make the playoffs and trying to keep that seed, so for us we just want to win.”Starting against Utah (44-33) on Tuesday, the Lakers will only face teams in the Western Conference playoff hunt from here on out, although the Clippers (41-36) are perilously close to being eliminated and might be out of the race by the time they clash with the Lakers in the season finale.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img