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NBA power rankings 2012: Lakers fall following loss to the Magic

The Lakers took a tumble in most NBA power rankings from various major publications following their fourth-quarter collapse against the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Harry How

The Los Angeles Lakers were penalized harshly in NBA power rankings from various publications following their 113-103 loss to the Orlando Magic, where the star-studded L.A. squad gave up 40 points in the fourth-quarter.

The Lakers went 1-2 last week and took slight stumbles to full-on tumbles depending on who was doing the math. The Los Angeles Clippers, on the other hand, maintained a pretty steady top-10 showing despite after going 2-1 on the week.

Most publications have a combination of the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder as their top three.

Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation dropped the Clippers down two spots to No. 7 and saved his big drop for the Lakers, dropping them six spots down to No. 15. Like most people, Rosenthal is uneasy of how bad the Lakers have looked at times despite having so much star power on their team.

Panic gave way to confidence and hope, which gave way back to panic. The Lakers probably don't feel like showing their faces around L.A. right now, so playing seven of their next eight on the road might be just the ticket.

John Hollinger of ESPN was a bit more forgiving for the Lakers as his method for ranking relies more on statistics and mathematics. The Lakers actually rose one spot in his rankings to No. 8, while the Clippers stood pat at No. 5.

The Clippers held strong at No. 5 for the second straight week in ESPN's Marc Stein's rankings. The Lakers dropped four spots to No. 12 with an emphasis on the blown fourth-quarter against the Magic.

Forty points in the fourth for Orlando? Five home losses already with a cushy schedule? Steve Nash can change the flow of the offense. He can lift spirits, too. But he's not going to help the defense one bit, which is where the Lakers looked truly awful in Sunday's fourth-quarter collapse.

The Lakers received the harshest judgment from CBS Sports, who sent them tumbling down seven spots to No. 19. They also raised the Clippers up one spot to No. 7.