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Lakers Schedule 2012: Showdowns With San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks Await

After six games in an eight-day stretch, the Los Angeles Lakers have a relatively light schedule this week, with no back-to-backs. They finish up a three-game road trip that is highlighted by a midweek matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, then the Lakers return home for two games, highlighted by a showdown on ABC against the defending champion Mavericks. Here is the Lakers schedule this week:

Monday - Lakers at New Orleans Hornets (5 p.m., KCAL): Kobe Bryant and his shin injury are improving but the star guard won't play against the Hornets. The Lakers have beaten the Hornets six straight times, including three straight in New Orleans.

Wednesday - Lakers at San Antonio Spurs (5:30 p.m., KCAL): San Antonio has won 11 straight games to surge into the top winning percentage in the Western Conference. The Lakers have beaten the Spurs two straight times but haven't faced them this season. The Lakers and Spurs play three times in a 10-day span beginning Wednesday.

Friday - Denver Nuggets at Lakers (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West): The Lakers return home to open a three-game homestand.

Sunday - Dallas Mavericks at Lakers (12:30 p.m., ABC): The Mavericks, now without Lamar Odom, have lost to the Lakers all three times they have played this season.

For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.