Fixture: Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
Date & Time: Sunday, December 29, 9:30 PM ET (Monday, 2:30 AM GMT)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles
Both Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers will have to take load management into consideration as they will be coming into Sunday’s game having played on Saturday. Especially with stars from each side, LeBron James and Luka Doncic coming from recent injuries, their coaches will have to take care of the minutes they play.
After losing four consecutive games, the Lakers will be relieved to have won against Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. However, they will be aware of the threat on Sunday against a team that had inflicted their second loss in the season to end their 10-game winning streak then. The Mavericks this time will be coming into the game having scored 141 points over Golden State Warriors. Doncic has registered yet another triple double as the Mavericks pipped the Warriors by 20 points.
Both Lakers and Mavericks have also found their reserve strength recently. The Mavericks were known to be overly reliant on Luka Doncic. But the time when he was out, the Mavericks’ reserves came out with purpose and showed they are worth it. Similarly, the Lakers are know to be dependent on the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They were exposed of this in the four-game losing streak. However, in their last game against Portland, Lakers’s bench contributed to 72 out of the 128 points.
With both teams seemed to be improving on their weaknesses, the Western Conference tie is expected to be a tight one.
Team news & injury updates-
Los Angeles Lakers-
Injuries: DeMarcus Cousins (Knee)- Out
Expected starting line-up: Danny Green, Avery Bradley, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee
Injuries: No injuries
Expected starting line-up: Tim Hardaway Jr., Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell
Out of the seven losses for the Lakers this season, five have come at the Staples Center, with one of them being against the Mavericks. Dallas will be looking for a repeat of that performance. Dallas also have a good away record of 12-3 in the season. It will be far from straight forward for them on Sunday, but they might just make it past the Lakers in what is expected to be a close contest.