Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 10/30

Game 1: Friday, October 30th
Mavericks94Final
Lakers80
Game 2: Sunday, January 3rd
Mavericks96Final
Lakers131
Game 3: Wednesday, January 13th
Lakers100Final
Mavericks95
Game 4: Wednesday, February 24th
Lakers96Final
Mavericks101

Lakers 100

(30-9, 9-6 away)

Mavericks 95

(25-13, 12-7 home)

Coverage: KTXA

8:30 PM ET, January 13, 2010

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 27 22 27 24100
DAL 24 21 26 2495

Top Performers

Los Angeles: A. Bynum 22 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 30 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

Lakers-Mavericks Preview

STATS LLC

The Los Angeles Lakers can't find a way to win on the road lately. Not having Kobe Bryant available could make that task even more challenging.

With Bryant nursing a new injury, the Lakers will try to snap their longest road losing streak in nearly three years Wednesday night when they make the first of two regular-season visits to Dallas to meet the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks.

Since its 112-103 double-overtime victory in Sacramento on Dec. 26, Los Angeles (29-9) has dropped four straight road games. Tuesday's 105-85 loss to San Antonio gave the Lakers their longest road losing streak since a five-game skid from March 4-15, 2007.

"I thought they played poorly," said coach Phil Jackson, whose team is averaging 92.3 points on 41.4 percent shooting while losing three of four overall.

Already admitting recently that a splint over his broken right index finger is affecting his shooting touch, Bryant suffered back spasms Tuesday and did not play in the fourth quarter after scoring all 16 of his points in the first half.

"I could barely move," Bryant said. "I tried to orchestrate some things for my team, couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk. It's the only way I don't play."

Bryant said he's "pretty sure" he'll play against the Mavericks. If he does, he'll try to avoid scoring fewer than 20 points in three straight games for the first time since April 2-7, 2005.

Pau Gasol will likely miss his sixth consecutive game after straining his left hamstring in Los Angeles' 131-96 victory over the visiting Mavericks on Jan. 3.

Bryant was held to 15 points in that matchup, but six other Lakers scored in double figures as Los Angeles recorded a season-high point total, shot a season-best 63.4 percent and posted the largest margin of victory in the history of this Western Conference rivalry.

"It's a lot easier to play against teams like Dallas because you know the focus is going to be there," Bryant said after that game.

The Mavericks (25-12) didn't look like an elite team in Saturday's 111-93 loss to Utah, but they will try to rebound with a solid effort against the defending champions.

"We want to see how good we are," Dirk Nowitzki told the Mavericks' official Web site Monday. "I always said regular-season games don't mean that much, but it's still a fun game."

Nowitzki, who is averaging 19.2 points and shooting 35.7 percent in his last five games against the Lakers, is 16 points shy of becoming the 34th player in league history with 20,000 points.

"All of the individual goals will be nice once my career is over, I can look back -- hey, I scored 20,000 points, I got an MVP (in 2007)," he said. "... All that is sweet, but it doesn't mean that much to me as of right now. I'm still trying to chase my dreams and that's winning a championship."

For that to happen, though, the Mavericks need to get healthy. Josh Howard (left thigh contusion) and Drew Gooden (dislocated right ring finger) are both questionable after missing Saturday's loss, while center Erick Dampier missed Tuesday's practice with soreness in his left knee. With Dampier sidelined in the Jan. 3 loss with a knee problem, Lakers center Andrew Bynum hit all eight of his shots and scored 19 points.

"Damp was out and Bynum had a field day in the paint," Nowitzki said. "He's like 7-3, with a 7-8 wingspan. He's so long, it's unbelievable."

Bynum had his double-double streak snapped at three Tuesday with 23 points and eight rebounds. He is averaging 18.4 and 12.0 during Gasol's five-game absence.

The Lakers, who have won seven of eight in this series, are one win shy of becoming the first NBA franchise with 3,000.

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