The Los Angeles Lakers will again try to solve the Dallas Mavericks, who have victimized LeBron James and company twice already in the 2023-24 NBA season. Will the Lakers end Dallas’ dominance in this matchup? Or, will the Mavericks complete a regular-season series sweep of the Lakers?
Catch this game live on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 9:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Dallas Mavericks (24-17/11-8 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- Luka Doncic (Questionable)
- Kyrie Irving
- Tim Hardaway Jr.
- Derrick Jones Jr. (Probable)
- Dereck Lively II
No Luka Doncic, no problem for the Mavericks in their most recent outing, as they leaned on the duo of Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. to tow them to a 125-120 home win against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. Irving erupted for 42 points in the Pelicans game, while Hardaway went off for 42 points. Doncic is still questionable to play against the Lakers after missing three games because of an ankle injury, while both Grant Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. are considered probable for the said contest.
The Mavericks have been undefeated versus the Lakers in two meetings so far this season. Dallas took down the LakeShow last November in LA, 104-101, and then again at home in December, 127-125. Irving played in the first one and missed the next meeting. This time, Irving will be there to help the Mavs, who are seventh in the league with 118.7 points per game, and despite having two ball-dominant stars, are No. 1 overall with just a 10.6 percent turnover rate.
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (20-21/14-7 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Austin Reaves
- Taurean Prince
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
The Lakers are still trying to establish consistency, as they have not won three consecutive games since early December. They can build another win streak this Thursday against the Mavs following a statement 112-105 win over the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder last Tuesday at home. The Lakers, who are playing the second leg of a four-game homestand, may be looking to continue starting the duo of D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves, who has been playing great together in the backcourt. They combined for 29 points and 13 assists in the win over the Thunder.
Meanwhile, the superstar tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis scored 25 and 27 points, respectively. James, at 39 years old, remains an important weapon for the Lakers, and he’s been solid in the last two meetings with the Mavs, averaging 29.5 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor in those games. On the season, the Lakers are just 8-12 against the spread in home games, but they’re also 14-12 in games after a day of rest.
Spread: The Mavs (+3.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (241.0) hits the Under.