The Lakers broke their eight-game road losing streak in Week 14, winning at Minnesota and Detroit. The team might have gone a perfect 4-0 had Dwight Howard not aggravated his shoulder injury in the loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Overall, the Lakers are now five losses below the cumulative predictions for weeks 1-14.
Tuesday at Brooklyn Nets
Coach Mike D'Antoni made his Lakers debut against the Nets on Nov. 20, prior to Steve Nash's return from a leg injury. The Lakers won 95-90, surviving a poor second quarter when they gave up 34 points to the Nets.
In the second half, the Lakers held Brooklyn to 33 points, getting the victory despite missing 18 free throws -- 12 from Howard, who nonetheless had 23 points and 15 rebounds. Brook Lopez scored 23 for the Nets and Deron Williams put in 22 points and 10 assists.
The Lakers have been playing well of late, albeit still giving up leads on a near-daily basis.
Getting it done in Brooklyn might be an uphill battle, especially with Howard a question mark. He's missed the last two games and remains listed as day-to-day.
Thursday at Boston Celtics
The Celtics (24-23) are hard to get a read on. After winning six in a row, they dropped six straight. Now they're on a four-game winning streak, all since All-Star point guard Rondo went down with a knee injury.
The Lakers always seem to bring their best game to Boston. Expect a strong game from both longtime rivals -- even if Howard isn't ready to go.
Friday at Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats (11-35) are always a tough team for the Lakers. There's no real explanation; it's just always been that way (regardless of how poorly Charlotte finishes in the standings).
How the Lakers escaped with a win at Staples Center on Dec. 18 (101-100) is still a mystery. The Bobcats got in three attempts at the win in the final 5.9 seconds but somehow none of them fell.
The Lakers should beat the Bobcats based on record. There's just something about this strange semi-rivalry that suggests otherwise.