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Lakers: Week 24 predictions

Eric Pincus predicts how the Lakers will fare this week against the Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks

The Lakers (20-56) finished Week 23 with three straight losses.

They'll play four games through Week 24, two on the road visiting the Clippers (52-26) and Denver Nuggets (28-49), before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-60) and Dallas Mavericks (46-31).

To date, the Lakers are three better than the cumulative prediction of 17-59.

Tuesday at Clippers

The Lakers were destroyed by the Clippers on Sunday, 106-78.

History will repeat on Tuesday, although the Lakers will make more of a go at it -- it's hard to imagine they'll play as poorly as they did over the weekend.

The game is important to the Clippers, who are still fighting for playoff seeding.

Prediction: Clippers

Wednesday at Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are not a good basketball team, but teams generally struggle playing in the high altitude of Denver on the second night of a back-to-back.

If the Lakers are competitive, look for them to fade late in the fourth for a fifth straight loss.

Prediction: Nuggets

Friday vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are about as injured as the Lakers.

One of the worst teams in the league, the Wolves will play at Staples Center without Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic or Shabazz Muhammad -- while Kevin Garnett, Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng and Gary Neal are either doubtful or questionable.

Prediction: Lakers

Sunday vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are on the cusp of locking in the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

If and when they do, they may look to rest players in preparation for the playoffs.

Should the Mavericks play at full strength, they'll make sure the Lakers don't build a two-game winning streak.

Prediction: Mavericks

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

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