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Lakers Run A Road Guantlet This Week, Highlighted By Thursday's Battle Against The Heat On TNT

The Los Angeles Lakers have won seven straight games and are coming off arguably their biggest win of the season on Sunday in San Antonio. So forgive them if their confidence is a tad high right now, even though that shouldn't be much of a surprise coming from the two-time defending champs. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have no time to rest on their laurels, as this week provides them with another gauntlet to run, with three more road games against three more playoff teams, highlighted by a nationally televised game in Miami against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Heat Thursday on TNT.

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Here is a look at the week ahead for the Lakers (all times PST):

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Tuesday, 4 p.m. at Atlanta (37-26): The Lakers began their seven-game winning streak with a 104-80 win at Staples Center on February 22. The Hawks have lost two straight and are 4-8 in their last 12 games.

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Thursday, 4 p.m. at Miami (43-20): The Heat are going through a much-publicized losing streak, and have struggled against the top teams in the NBA. Miami is just 1-10 against the top five teams in the league, but their one win came on Christmas Day at Staples Center against the Lakers.

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Saturday, 5:30 p.m. at Dallas (46-17): The Mavericks currently hold the second seed in the West, two games ahead of the Lakers in the loss column. This is one of two meetings in March between the two teams, who appear headed for a second-round matchup in the NBA playoffs. Now it's just a matter of figuring out which team will have home court advantage. Dallas has won 19 of their last 21 games.

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