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NBA schedule 2012: Lakers, Clippers have road challenges ahead

Both Los Angeles teams will be trying to overcome their recent road struggles as they depart for the other side of the country Tuesday.

Stephen Dunn

Both the Lakers and the Clippers will be beginning four-game road trips Tuesday as they look to finally find a way to win outside of the Staples Center.

The Lakers will begin their East Coast run with a visit to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are tentatively expecting guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to return that evening so L.A. could be faced with containing some additional offensive fire power.

The Lakers will then receive a night off before heading to New York for head coach Mike D'Antoni's first game against his former team. Los Angeles will undoubtedly have their hands full though as the white-hot Knicks have been averaging 102.8 points per game (fifth best in the NBA).

As for the other Los Angeles team, three of the Clippers' six losses on the season came from their last four-game road trip but they'll be protecting a six-game winning streak when they head into Chicago early this week. The Clippers have already beat the Bulls 101-80 at home this season and shouldn't have much of a problem repeating the same feat in front of an ESPN audience on Tuesday.

After finishing off the season series with the Bulls, the Clippers will head to Charlotte the following night for their first meeting with the Bobcats of the 2012-2013 season. The Bobcats have dropped seven in a row following their surprising start and shouldn't pose much of a problem for a Clippers team whose bench might actually be more talented than Charlotte's starting lineup.

Check back in with SB Nation Los Angeles throughout the week for continued NBA coverage.