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Lakers: Week 13 predictions

The Lakers finish their seven-game road trip with visits to Chicago, Miami, Orlando and New York.

After a lengthy slump, the Lakers have won two straight road games. Injuries are still an issue with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry out.

Henry (knee) is tentatively scheduled to be reevaluated before the end of the week.

Through 42 games, the Lakers have 16 wins, matching cumulative expectations at 16-25.

Monday at Chicago Bulls

The Bulls (19-20) aren't the team they were expected to be. Derrick Rose was lost for months with a knee injury. The team traded Luol Deng for luxury tax relief, but even with all that -- Chicago has been surging of late.

Chicago also agreed to terms on a trade for Tornike Shengelia of the Brooklyn Nets for Marquis Teague.  Neither will be available on Monday because the league office is closed until Tuesday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Lakers have a real chance to extend their win streak to three, but playing on the second night of a back-to-back against Chicago's strong defensive unit won't be easy.

Prediction: Bulls

Thursday at Miami Heat

The Lakers played well against the Heat (29-11) on Christmas but ultimately fell 101-95. Miami at home (16-3) is even more of a challenge.

LeBron James is shooting 58.3% from the field with 26.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists a game this season.

Dwyane Wade has been hobbled with a knee injury.

The Lakers have a lot more injuries to deal with. Even at full strength, the Lakers would have a difficult time getting a win in Miami.

Prediction: Heat

Friday at Orlando Magic

The Magic (11-30) have talent but have struggled in recent weeks. Before Orlando's win Sunday over the Celtics, they had lost 10 consecutive games.

The status of center Nikola Vucevic is unclear as he recovers from a concussion.

Orlando still has a number of players who may be difficult for the Lakers to deal with, including Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Victor Oladipo, Jameer Nelson and Tobias Harris.

If the Lakers continue to play as they have the last two games, they should be able to get a win against  Orlando.

Prediction: Lakers

Sunday at New York Knicks

The Knicks (15-25) have also struggled with injuries this season.  Former Lakers champion Metta World Peace is day-to-day with knee issues.

Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin suffered ankle injuries last week. Guard Pablo Prigioni may return from a toe injury, but the Knicks have been hit and miss all season.

If the Lakers can slow Carmelo Anthony, even slightly, a win could be within reach.

Prediction: Lakers

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Nick Young, Ryan Kelly lead Lakers to 112-106 win over Raptors

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

 

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