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Preview: Lakers Week 20 predictions

After a busy stretch of five games in seven days, the Lakers play only twice during Week 20.

The light schedule doesn't translate to an easy schedule. The Lakers will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs on successive nights.

The Lakers are 22-42, three victories behind cumulative expectations.

Thursday at Oklahoma City Thunder

The Lakers stunned the Thunder (46-17) on Sunday, overcoming an 18-point deficit to upset one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

It took a career-high 42 points from Jodie Meeks, and the Thunder challenged until the final seconds in a 114-110 Lakers' victory.

The Lakers will have time to rest and prepare for their visit to Oklahoma City, but the talent gap should prove to be an issue now that the Lakers have the Thunder's full attention.

Prediction: Thunder

Friday at San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs (46-16) have survived injuries to climb back to the top of the Western Conference.

With the Thunder loss Sunday, San Antonio has a half-game lead over Oklahoma City.

The Spurs lost Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard for stretches, but now that everyone is rounding back into form, the Spurs have won six straight and nine of 10.

While the younger Thunder got caught by the Lakers' energy and effort, the Spurs aren't a team to play down to their competition.

With the Lakers playing in San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back, they're in for a difficult night.

Prediction: Spurs

ALSO:

Lakers turn back the Thunder, 114-110

Lakers continue to make progress toward a lottery pick

Derek Fisher may have played his final game against Lakers in L.A.

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

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