2012 NBA power rankings: Clippers and Lakers both up modestly

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers stayed in the top five, while the Lakers moved just a little farther into the top 20.

The Los Angeles Clippers are riding high on a nine-game winning streak with victories last week over the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks all on the road. As they continue to take not just the Western Conference but the NBA by storm, SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal has the Clippers up to fourth in latest power rankings, up from fifth last week.

Rosenthal says the Clippers continue to get great bench play while their defense is also developing a lock down mentality on this current nine game winning streak.

Meanwhile, the other team that plays their home games at the Staples Center is still struggling despite two straight wins. The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks in the last week while picking up wins over the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. They're still waiting to get Steve Nash and Pau Gasol back on the floor so Rosenthal knows it probably won't be long before the jokes will end.

Look at the plucky, upstart Lakers winning two straight! Holding opponents under 100 points, even! (I'm sorry. I really am. I just worry that we're running out of time to be snide about the Lakers.)

The Lakers come home to face the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow while the Clippers are on the road tonight against the Detroit Pistons.

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