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Game Thread: Lakers (31-12) at Mavericks (26-14)

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WHO: The Dallas Mavericks host the Lost Angeles Lakers

WHAT: A chance to be utterly embarrassed on national television! hooray!

WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

WHEN: 8:00pm CT

HOW: ESPN | KTXA | KCAL-LAL | KESN | KSPN | NBAC (Canada)

THE STORY: The Lakers had a little slump of their own, but have since won 8 of their last 9 games. The Mavericks can't seem to buy a win, even with the return of the Great Dirk Nowitzki. Maybe the pressure of being on the big stage will help them find a victory, or maybe the fact that the Lakers were, at one point, considered to be their biggest obstacle to wining the West. Whatever it takes, the Mavericks need to win, and soon. Mostly because I'm getting bored with losing. Below the jump you'll find a couple of links, and watch out for that Silver Screen and Roll... it's a doozy.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks - Preview - January 19, 2011 - ESPN Dallas
The Dallas Mavericks found it difficult to win without Dirk Nowitzki for a nine-game stretch. Since his return, they're finding it just as hard to post a victory. Dallas looks to avoid its longest losing streak in nearly 12 years Wednesday night when it hosts the Los Angeles Lakers, winners in eight of their last nine.

Inside Report: Lakers-Mavericks preview — Defending home against the defending champs
The month of January has gone in opposite directions for the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. Sliding to a season-worst six-game losing skid, the Mavericks (26-14) have been free-falling down the Western Conference standings.

Shootaround Report: Lakers (31-12) at Mavericks (26-14) - Mavs Fast Break
The Mavericks see their Wednesday night matchup with the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers as both a gift and a curse. The Mavs admit that they will either leave the American Airlines Center floor riding high after a much-needed win, or they will sink even lower if they suffer their first seven-game losing streak since Feb. 9-19, 1999.