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Three dominant wins in a row at home is great, but the Lakers will still have to take their show on the road. Their February road test begins starting this upcoming Friday, and it's a classic case of good news and bad news.
The good news, historically, the Lakers have owned Minnesota, the bad news, the Lakers will be playing on a back-to-back. Despite having a horrible 5-15 record on the road, the Lakers should find themselves the favored squad in the upcoming matchup this week.
The Lakers have flatout dominated against the Timberwolves for years, the last time the Lakers lost against Minnesota was way back in the 2006-07 season in an overtime loss by 10 points. Bearing this stat in mind, it's obvious that they swept the season series last year, both at home and on the road.
Without Kevin Love, the Wolves are just not as much a threat against this revitalized Lakers squad, and I look for Kobe to come out and get everyone in involved. No Love also means that Pau won't have to drift out on the perimeter as much, but Derrick Williams is still an athletic big who can give people fits if its the right kind of night.
Now matchup wise, Minnesota still has the likes of Nikola Pekovic who could physically contend one-on-one with Dwight Howard, and the pesky reach of Andrei Kirilenko could bother Kobe a bit, Minnesota really hasn't had a perimeter defender like Andrei to pit against Kobe in recent matchups. I think this one will be a barn-burner since Minnesota is still a physical team that can get hot from behind the arc.
Despite the opposing variables, I will rule in favor of history and give the Lakers 111-106 victory to finally turn their road woes around.