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Lakers Fail to Make NBA Playoffs

For the first time in 11 years, the Los Angeles Lakers will not be in the National Basketball Association playoffs.

After making it to the finals last year, the Lakers were eliminated from post-season contention Tuesday night when they lost for the 12th time in the last 13 games, falling to the Phoenix Suns, 125-99.

The Lakers have 33 wins against 41 losses with only eight games to play. They can not finish among the top eight teams in the Western Conference to qualify for a playoff berth.

The Lakers won the Western Conference Championship last year, but shortly thereafter, the core of the team was broken up.

Coach Phil Jackson was let go and star center Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. O'Neal, who had had differences with star Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, has led Miami to the best record in the Eastern Conference at 56-19.