With the win tonight, the Lakers all but assured themselves a repeat trip to the NBA finals.
Had they not won, they would have drawn Portland in the first round of the playoffs and then most likely would have to face Dallas without a home court advantage. Instead? They get New Orleans (without David West) and then get to play an either exhausted Dallas or Portland WITH homecourt advantage. Once they easily dispose of that opponent, they're going to get a worn down version of either OKC, Denver or San Antonio (with an injured Manu Ginobili).
Basically, the Lakers have lucked out once again and are going back to the NBA finals (where Boston will win the rubber match).