The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Dallas Mavericks, looking for their seventh consecutive win while also hoping to close out the 2019-20 NBA season series.
The Lakers and Mavericks have played three back and forth games so far this season. The Lakers took the first one — an overtime thriller — with LeBron James and Luka Doncic both playing historic basketball. The Mavericks then took the next one on Dec. 1, making it seem like the Lakers might be in for a long month. The Lakers then got their revenge with a win in a defensive battle at the end of December.
This fourth and final matchup between the two teams will have some moving parts due to injury. For the Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis will be out, meaning Doncic may have to do even more to get a win. On the Lakers side, Anthony Davis will not play due to the injury he suffered in the third quarter of the win against the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, both Avery Bradley and James have come down with illnesses that have put their playing status in doubt, but both will play.
The Lakers and Mavericks have been competitive in all their matchups with the former simply looking like the better team for a majority of the time. Should James play without Davis, him and Doncic will have extra pressure to succeed to get their team a win.
Doncic has been playing incredible basketball this season and is being rewarded by currently leading all Western Conference guards in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game fan voting. There’s no doubt that he’ll be a starter when the game rolls around and his name might even be in the MVP conversation as Doncic is currently averaging 29.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.0 assists while leading the Mavericks to a Western Conference playoff spot.
The Lakers, like any of their other meetings with this team, will need to work on stopping an elite offensive attack. The Mavericks still rank No. 1 in the NBA in offensive rating, something that seemed to be a fluke at the beginning of the season and is now common knowledge. This becomes a little easier with Porzingis out, but still this team has weapons at all positions.
Without Davis, Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers centers will have to play a great game to ensure the Mavericks don’t score a ton of points.
Los Angeles Lakers (30-7) vs. Dallas Mavericks (23-14)
6:45 P.M. PT, Jan. 10, 2020
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso
Projected Mavericks Starting Lineup:
PG: Delon Wright
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
SF: Luka Doncic
PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
C: Dwight Powell
Key Reserves: Seth Curry, Maxi Kleber, Justin Jackson, Jalen Brunson