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NBA Power Rankings: Lakers Move Up To 4th

The Lakers had a restful week last week, for the most part. After their four-game gauntlet road trip, they returned home to face, and beat, the Orlando Magic last Monday. As such, the Lakers placed fifth in last week's NBA power rankings on SB Nation. Then, the Lakers only played twice the rest of the week, wins over Minnesota and Portland on Friday and Sunday. This week, the Lakers have moved all the way up to fourth, behind the Spurs, Heat, and Bulls. Tom Ziller had this to say about L.A.:

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The tight loss to the Heat remains the Lakers' only hiccup since All-Star Weekend, with impressive wins over the Spurs, Mavericks, Thunder and Magic in that span. Quietly, and thanks in part to Miami's huge win over the Spurs, L.A. now has a better margin of victory than S.A., too.

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Again, the top six or seven teams are very tightly bunched, so movement one way or another shouldn't matter much right now. The Lakers are still very much in the mix for a third straight NBA title, as they currently hold the advantage over Dallas in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

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With eight home games in their final 12 contest, the Lakers are in position to possibly finish with a better record than everybody but San Antonio, which would potentially give them home court advantage in the NBA Finals. But their is plenty of time, and plenty of games, between now and June. The Lakers are home all week this week, facing Phoenix (tonight), the Clippers, and New Orleans.

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For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.