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NBA Power Rankings: No. 4 Lakers Battle No. 3 Celtics Thursday On TNT

The Los Angeles Lakers have won both games on their road trip so far, but the terrain on their journey is about to get considerably more difficult. The Lakers, who are ranked fourth in the latest NBA power rankings on SB Nation, travel to Boston on Thursday to face the Celtics, who are in third place in those rankings, in a game televised by TNT. If their first meeting, on Jan. 30, was any indication, there is quite a gap between the third and fourth place spots.

The Celtics won 103-89 at Staples Center nine days ago, and in doing so shot 60.3% from the field and limited the Lakers to 10 team assists, their lowest total in 51 years. Boston did lose to the Bobcats last night, which affected their rankings, as did a recent spate of injuries:

Marquis Daniels' frightening Sunday injury begat another injury concern for Doc Rivers; the Celtics called up Avery Bradley for insurance purposes. At some point, this team will get healthy, or at least more healthy than they've been. That's when opponents really ought to be scared.

After Boston, the Lakers travel to New York for a Friday matchup at Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks, who placed 14th in the SB Nation power rankings. Then on Sunday, the Lakers battle the Orlando Magic in a game that will be televised on ABC.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.