With their Sunday night win over the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers are on a three-game win streak with eight victories in 35 tries, slotting the team last place in the Western Conference.
They’ll play four games through Week 11, hosting the Golden State Warriors (31-2), Oklahoma City Thunder (24-11) and Utah Jazz (15-18), while visiting the Sacramento Kings (14-20).
Through 10 weeks of play, the Lakers are one win behind the cumulative prediction of 9-26.
Tuesday vs. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have played recently without NBA most valuable player Stephen Curry (shin). Obviously, it would help if he decided to sit against the Lakers -- although the Warriors are still a formidable opponent even without him.
Kobe Bryant is questionable with a sore shoulder, while rookie D’Angelo Russell is fighting through a sore throat.
Even if the Lakers are at full strength, and the Warriors are not, Golden State has just two losses on the season for a reason. The Lakers’ winning streak should come to an end at three.
Thursday at Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are an inconsistent lot with stars DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo. While they’re vulnerable on any given night, the Kings are also capable of beating just about any team in the league.
Despite their losing record, Sacramento still has playoff hopes. They’re not too far behind the eighth-place Jazz, but they won’t get there if they don’t improve their defense -- allowing 107.6 points a game.
The Lakers should challenge the Kings on Thursday, but it may not be enough for the win.
Friday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have destroyed the Lakers twice already this season. The Lakers will get a third try, but they’ll do so on the second night of a back-to-back.
Kevin Durant isn’t a lock to play (toe), which may give the Lakers more of a chance. The tandem of Russell Westbrook and Durant is too much for the Lakers to deal with; perhaps if it’s just Westbrook, the Lakers luck their way into a win.
Sunday vs. Utah Jazz
The Jazz have a litany of injuries, including Alec Burks (ankle) and Dante Exum (knee), who are both out for the season. Rudy Gobert is nearing a return from a knee injury but isn’t expected back by Sunday. Derrick Favors is dealing with a back issue; he may be able to play against the Lakers.
Jeff Withey has been starting at center for Utah in the absence of Favors and Gobert. The Jazz are a tough, competitive squad, but the Lakers have a chance to catch them at less than whole on Sunday.