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Lakers: Week 4 predictions

After playing four games in the season's first three weeks, during Week 4 the Lakers (5-7) are to play just twice.

They are off until Friday at home, where they're scheduled to see the Golden State Warriors (7-3), who previously blew out the Lakers in the Warriors' home opener, 125-94.

On Sunday, the struggling Sacramento Kings (2-7) are set to visit Staples Center. Though the Kings aren't expected to be a playoff team, they always seem to play their best against the Lakers.

With two wins in four tries during Week 3, the Lakers are a single win ahead of cumulative predictions.

Friday vs. Golden State Warriors

The Lakers will give a better showing on Friday when they play the Warriors, but will it be enough to win?

Since Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson joined the starting lineup, the Lakers have found a stronger rotation defensively. Hill has been a significant force offensively and on the boards.

The Warriors have averaged 104.9 points a night while holding teams to 97.2. The Lakers are at 99.4 points a game while giving up 103.8 a game.

Forward Harrison Barnes sat out the last meeting between the two teams. The guard combination of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, rounded out with Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut, David Lee and now Barnes, is a lot for almost any team to deal with.

While the Lakers are short Steve Nash (back) and Kobe Bryant (Achilles), the Warriors are expected to be without Jermaine O'Neal (knee), Toney Douglas (leg) and Festus Ezeli (knee).

The Lakers should compete, but a win may be too much to expect.

Prediction: Warriors

Sunday vs. Sacramento Kings

The Kings have been carried by DeMarcus Cousins and reserve guard Isaiah Thomas, but not far enough, with Sacramento losing seven of eight games.

Cousins has averaged 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.67 steals and 1.44 blocks a game.

At 5-foot-9, Thomas has averaged 17.8 points with 4.9 assists a game.

The Kings have held teams to a reasonable 97.9 points a game but their offense hasn't been consistent. Sacramento has averaged 93 points a night on 41.8% shooting from the field and 31.8% from three-point range.

The Lakers should be able to beat the Kings, but it won't be an easy night.

Prediction: Lakers

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

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