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Lakers near top eight in the Western Conference

December 23, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Pau Gasol drives to the basket against the Bobcats.
Pau Gasol drives to the basket against the Bobcats. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers may have finally climbed from rock bottom after losing four straight games.  Now the team has won four in a row after dipping to 9-14 while waiting for Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to get healthy.

Gasol and Nash are back and the Lakers are suddenly 13-14, surviving multiple injuries.

With their second victory of the season over Golden State (18-10), the Lakers have closed to within 4 1/2 games of the fifth-seeded Warriors.  The two teams meet again later in the season, giving the Lakers room to make up significant ground with a sweep.

The fourth-place San Antonio Spurs (20-8) have struggled recently but are still 20-8.  The Lakers will play the Spurs two more times as well, but they'll need to win at a very high rate to make up the 6 1/2 games.

Meanwhile the Lakers are now within a game and a half of the Minnesota Timberwolves (13-11), Houston Rockets (14-12) and Denver Nuggets (15-13).  They're also slightly behind the Portland Trail Blazers (13-12) and Utah Jazz (14-14) but the Lakers are slowly inching toward playoff position.

The Lakers play both the Nuggets and Blazers before the end of the year.

ALSO:

Pau Gasol's return will help, but to what extent?

Is Kobe Bryant shooting the Lakers out of games?

Lakers rally in fourth, top Warriors in overtime, 118-115

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

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