Thu, Apr 22, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Los Angeles Lakers (35-23, 5th in the Western Conference) visit the Dallas Mavericks (31-26, 7th in the Western Conference) on Thursday, April 22, at 9:30 PM ET at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
This should be a good one tonight in the NBA. The Mavericks, despite sitting in seventh in the conference standings, are in first place in the Southwest Divison. The Lakers have held tough without LeBron James but are seven games out of first place in the Pacific Division, putting them in third place behind the Los Angeles Clippers and the first-place Phoenix Suns.
Both teams are just 5-5 in their last 10 games played. During that span, the Mavericks are averaging 109.8 points per game, while the Lakers are averaging 107.5 points per game.
The last time the Lakers hit the court they suffered a 111-97 loss to the NBA-best Utah Jazz.
"These guys are as good as anyone in the league with the read-drive offense," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of the Jazz. "They're patient. They look for great shots at the rim or great shots at the perimeter. If they don't have it, they work the possession until they get it. That's why their record is what it is, and obviously we weren't good enough tonight."
Talen Horton-Tucker dropped in a career-high 24 points in the losing effort for the Lakers. The Lakers are now 7-9 without both James and Anthony Davis. They are 14-16 since Davis last played.
Kyle Kuzma added 17 for the Lakers in the loss, with all of the points coming in the first three quarters.
"I think we kind of gave in a little bit," Kuzma said. "On the offensive end, shots really didn't fall, and a couple of bad possessions led to a lack of effort on the defensive end — guys getting open 3s, Rudy getting a couple of dunks, guys getting downhill a little bit easier."
Dallas ended a four-game home losing streak with a 127-117 win over the Detroit Pistons the last time they hit the hardwood.
Luka Doncic dropped 30 points in the win and was supported by 19 from Kristaps Porzingis. The game was originally scheduled to be played on February 17 but had to be postponed due to the severe winter storms that hit the state of Texas.
"The second half we did what we needed to do to get the win," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Detroit, they're a defiantly competitive team that just keeps coming at you."
Injuries have taken a toll on both teams. The Mavericks will be without Tyrell Terry (personal), while Maxi Kleber is listed as day-to-day (back).
The Lakers have the following players on the injury report for tonight’s game: James: out (ankle), Jared Dudley: out (knee), Markieff Morris: day-to-day (ankle), Marc Gasol: day-to-day (finger), Anthony Davis: day-to-day (achilles).
The Mavericks enter tonight’s Western Conference tilt as three-point favorites over the Lakers. With Los Angeles still without James, it’s tough to bet against Luka Doncic and Dallas. Place your bet on the host Mavericks and the -145 money line on Thursday night.