The Los Angeles Lakers won't go quietly into that good night. Despite having nothing to gain and quite a bit to lose by winning, they took down their rival Los Angeles Clippers on Friday and are threatening to do the same to the Utah Jazz tonight. They controlled the early part of the first half in this game, and the two sides have gone back and forth for much of the first 24 minutes. Suddenly a Lakers team that stood no chance against lottery teams in March is keeping up with playoff groups in April.

Does it make sense? No, but at least the last few games of the season have been entertaining. The Lakers are getting surprising contributions from young players who have earned looks for next season. If a team is going to play meaningless games late in the regular season, the least it can do is find ways to make those games meaningful for the following season. The Lakers have done so, even if they would have been better off losing in peace.