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NBA Power Rankings, Week 8: Streaking Lakers Hold Steady, Clippers Move Up

The Los Angeles Lakers had a great week last week, if only for the return center Andrew Bynum, who played all four games. The Lakers won all four of those games, all by double digits, and as a result retained their spot as the third-best team in the latest NBA power rankings on SB Nation. Overall, the Lakers have won five straight, and at 21-7 have the third-best record in the Western Conference.

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The Southwest Division has the two best records in the west so far this season. The San Antonio Spurs have won nine straight, and are off to their best start ever at 24-3. Right behind them are the Dallas Mavericks, who are 22-5 and snapped the 12-game Miami Heat winning streak Monday night. The Boston Celtics hold the top spot in the Eastern Conference at 22-4, and are riding a 13-game winning streak of their own.

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The Lakers have a few tough tests in the next week, facing a pair of 20-win teams. They host the Heat on Christmas Day, then travel to San Antonio to face the top-dog Spurs next Tuesday. The Los Angeles Clippers, winners of three straight games, are making their move up the charts. They held the bottom spot in the Western Conference for several weeks, but moved up to 14 a few weeks ago, and are now ranked 12th in the power rankings.

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For more Los Angeles basketball news, be sure to read the SB Nation blogs for the Lakers (Silver Screen and Roll) and Clippers (Clips Nation).