Kobe Bryant scores over the Suns' Marcin Gortat on Friday night. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
The Lakers climbed into third place in the Pacific Division on Friday night with a victory over the Phoenix Suns. At 4-5 the Lakers are just 2½ games behind the Clippers and one game in back of the Golden State Warriors.
Three of the Lakers' four victories have come against their division rivals (Sacramento Kings, Suns and Warriors). The Lakers have losses to the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Clippers.
In the Western Conference the Lakers are currently 10th but they hold the same record as the eighth-placed Denver Nuggets (along with the Houston Rockets and Blazers, all 4-5).
There's no reason to fixate on standings in November, but it's important to note that the Lakers haven't lost anything yet that can't be recovered.
They still play the league-leading Memphis Grizzlies three times, meet the second-place Spurs twice and get three more cracks at the Clippers.
It will be a challenge for the team to truly flourish without Steve Nash, who is sidelined for at least another week with a leg injury.
The Lakers play their next two games at home against the Rockets on Sunday and Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
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You can email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.