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Lakers: Week 12 predictions

The Lakers will square off against the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz this week

Kobe Bryant sat out three of four games during Week 11, with the Lakers getting just a single win over the Orlando Magic.

The Lakers will play three times in Week 12, hosting the Miami Heat (16-21) and Cleveland Cavaliers (19-19) before visiting the Utah Jazz (13-25).

To date, the Lakers are exactly at the cumulative prediction of 12-26.

Tuesday vs. Miami Heat

The Heat have been inconsistent this season, but just came into Staples Center to get a win over the Clippers (25-13).

Bryant is expected to play Tuesday.  The Lakers have shown signs recently of improved play -- except for a blowout loss to the Clippers.

Miami's roster is still quite talented, with players like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng.  It won't be an easy game for the Lakers.

Prediction: Lakers

Thursday vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have lost their last five games, reeling without LeBron James, who has been sidelined with back and knee strains.

His status for Thursday isn't clear yet, but even without the All-Star, the Cavaliers have significant firepower with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Cleveland will be a difficult opponent for the Lakers, despite the Cavs' recent struggles

Prediction: Cavaliers

Friday at Utah Jazz

The Jazz have been playing through injuries -- notably losing Alec Burks for the season with a shoulder issue.

Trey Burke has played well of late.  Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors have been strong through most of the season.

The Lakers are somewhat unpredictable, and are capable of big wins, but mostly close losses. 

Utah, on the second night of a back-to-back, may be too much to ask.

Prediction: Jazz

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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