Mavericks vs. Lakers NBA Picks
Can the Mavericks beat the Lakers in Los Angeles again? Both teams have tough games on Saturday, who will prevail on Sunday?
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday, December 29 at 9:30 PM ET (ESPN), STAPLES CENTER
Mavs Won the Last Meeting in LA
The Mavericks beat the Lakers 114-100 on December 1 in Los Angeles, forcing 17 turnovers and limiting them to just 7-for-27 from beyond the arc. Luka Doncic had 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, Seth Curry added 17 points off the bench and Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell scored 15 points apiece.
Anthony Davis finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers and LeBron James added 25 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals but he turned the ball over six times and missed his five 3-point attempts. The only other Laker in double figures was Alex Caruso (10 points). Kyle Kuzma was particularly cold, scoring just four points on 1 of 8 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench and like James, he missed the five 3-pointers he attempted.
The Lakers had James and AD and they still lost by 14 points to the Mavericks. They clearly need more players to step up if they want to beat them this time and Kyle Kuzma has to give them more. The Lakers won’t win this game if Kuzma does not produce off the bench, especially if James can’t go.
LeBron James is Questionable
LeBron James aggravated a recent groin injury after a collision with Patrick Beverley in the first quarter of a 111-106 loss against the Clippers on Christmas Day and according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin he could miss time moving forward.
“I felt healthy going into the game,” James said. “I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Bev, and it kind of set me right back to where I was five days ago.”
The injury James suffered against the Clippers is on the right side of his groin and he explained that it is not as severe as the one he had last year.
“To be honest, I haven’t even thought about Portland just yet,”James said. “I’m always around the clock with my body, getting my treatment. If I’m feeling great, I’ll be in the lineup. If I’m feeling well, I’ll be in the lineup. We’ll see what happens.”
If pushed to its limit, this injury could worsen, which is why some members of the Lakers organization approached James and asked him to consider sitting out for the next few games to fully recover. This means that he might be out on Sunday.
The Lakers will be playing in the second game of a back-to-back after visiting the Trail Blazers on Saturday, LeBron James (plus-7.0 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) might not be available and the Mavs will have Luka Doncic (plus-11.0 Offensive Box Plus/Minus).
Luka Doncic suffered an ankle sprain on the December 14 game against the Heat but if he plays and LeBron is out you have to take the Mavericks. Doncic led the way with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on Thursday’s 102-98 win against the Spurs and his performance in the win in Los Angeles was fundamental.