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Lakers Look To Head Into NBA All-Star Game On High Note

The Los Angeles Lakers ran a relative guantlet last week, with four games against four potential playoff teams, all on the road. This week, the Lakers look to head into the break on a high note, before they return home to Los Angeles as co-host (with the Clippers) of the NBA All-Star Game, at Staples Center. As part of their Grammy road trip, the Lakers were facing their first true extended test of the season against quality teams. Although their week ended on a sour note with Sunday's loss to the Magic, the Lakers passed the test, with three wins against the Grizzlies, Celtics, and Knicks.

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This week, the Lakers have just two games, with All-Star weekend looming, but they will be tested nonetheless. At least once. Here's a look at the Lakers schedule this week:

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Monday - at Charlotte Bobcats (23-31): The Bobcats may be eight games under .500, but they are 14-12 under coach Paul Silas. In addition, Charlotte has had the Lakers' number of late, winning seven of their last nine games against Los Angeles. The Lakers have lost four of their last five games in Charlotte, so Kobe Bryant and the gang will have their hands full tonight.

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Wednesday - at Cleveland Cavaliers (9-46): The Cavs may have defeated the Clippers on Friday night, snapping their NBA-record losing streak at 26, but they are still a team that has lost 37 of their last 39 games. Cleveland's two wins during that span came in overtime; they haven't won a game in regulation since November 27. The Lakers came within a single bucket of doubling up the Cavaliers on January 11 at Staples Center, beating them 112-57.

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For more information and analysis regarding the Lakers, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.