Monday, March 27, 2023
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NBA Preview: Dallas Mavericks (35-35) at Los Angeles Lakers (34-36)

The Los Angeles Lakers will get a second look on Friday, this time at home, after facing the Dallas Mavericks with Kyrie Irving and their new look.

The exact number of stars who play for each team remains to be determined.

In a Feb. 26 matchup at Dallas, the Lakers pulled off a 111-108 triumph over the Protesters that was close to the beginning of their resurgence. The Lakers had won three games in a row, winning eight of their last 12 games.

LeBron James was on hand for the Lakers in that game, scoring 26 points and grabbing eight rebounds. James, on the other hand, suffered an injury in the third quarter and remained in the game, but he hasn’t played since due to a tendon injury in his right foot.

In the nine games James has missed, the Lakers have gone 5-4 as they drift toward the lower part of season finisher qualified groups in the Western Gathering. The Lakers were ninth in the conference with a 34-36 record at the start of NBA play on Thursday.

Los Angeles lost 114-110 to the Houston Rockets, who were in last place, in the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday while Los Angeles was without star Anthony Davis.

Austin Reaves, who came off the bench for the Lakers and scored 24 points, and D’Angelo Russell, who came back to the team in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves at the trade deadline last month, scored 18 points. Another new addition, Jarred Vanderbilt, scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Mavericks are in the same mood, and they have little to no sympathy for the problems the Lakers are having. In Dallas’ 137-128 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Luka Doncic (thigh), Irving (foot), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (calf) were all out with injuries.

Doncic and Irving attended Thursday’s practice.

The Mavericks’ Christian Wood scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds off the bench, and Jaden Hardy and Dwight Powell each scored 22 points. Reggie Bullock had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Josh Green added 21.

On Thursday, at 35-35, Dallas was one game ahead of the Lakers in the West standings.

The teams’ season series will end with Friday’s game. The first two meetings were won by the Mavericks, 124-115 in Dallas on Christmas Day and 119-115 in a double-overtime thriller in Los Angeles on January 12. In the game on January 12, Doncic had 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists.

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