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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Lakers Rise Three Spots, Clippers Remain At No. 4

The Los Angeles Clippers began last week ranked number four in the power rankings at SB Nation, thanks to wins over the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder on back-to-back nights. The Clippers won two of three games after that, including snapping a 16-game losing streak in Utah, to remain at No. 4 in the latest NBA power rankings from Tom Ziller at SB Nation.

In summing up the season to date for the Clippers, Ziller wrote, "Chris Paul has somehow overcome the team's Vinny Del Negro-ness in a few close games and looks like a legit title contender. Mo Williams lives!" The Clippers are currently 14-7, atop the Pacific Division and holding the second seed in the Western Conference. They just began a six-game road trip.

The Lakers, also on a six-game road trip, moved up from No. 14 to No. 11, after wins over Charlotte and Denver, and a loss at Utah last week.

"Kobe Bryant is playing as well as he has since 2008, Andrew Bynum is the best center in the West and ... the supporting cast beyond Pau Gasol is so bad that the Lakers look as bad as they have in the Pau era," said Ziller/ "Metta World Peace and Derek Fisher are locked in a nightly struggle for saddest looking basketball player alive."

The Lakers are in Philadelphia Monday night, while the Clippers are in Orlando.

For more news and information on the local NBA teams, be sure to read Clips Nation and Silver Screen and Roll.