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Game Thread: Lakers (46-20) at Mavericks (47-18)

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WHO: The Dallas Mavericks host the Los Angeles Lakers

WHAT: Battle for the Two Seed

WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

WHEN: 8:00pm CT

HOW: NBA TV | FSSW-DAL | KCAL-LAL | KESN | KSPN | THESCORE (Canada)

THE STORY: The Lakers just lost to the Heat. We know that means they're gonna be mad, especially Kobe Bryant who made a big deal after their loss and... practiced? Anyway, the Mavericks proved to their coach that they aren't soft with their solid win over the Knicks on Thursday. Tonight's game can give the Mavs a cushion over the Lakers going into the end of the season, since they beat LA earlier this year. As always, enjoy the links after the jump, and take a gander at Silver Screen and Roll.

Lakers-Mavericks Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
There's plenty on the line Saturday night when the Dallas Mavericks host the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks can build a bigger lead over the Lakers in the race for the Western Conference's No. 2 seed and clinch the tiebreaker between the teams. Dallas (47-18) is 1 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles (46-20) for the second-best record in the West behind San Antonio. - National Basketball Association news

Inside Report: Lakers-Mavericks preview — West's No. 2 and No. 3 face off in Big D
Although it has been their Southwest Division rival, the San Antonio Spurs, who have sprinted to the best record in the NBA to sit atop the Western Conference standings, it’s the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers the Mavericks say are the favorite to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy above their heads yet again in June.

Mavs answer Carlisle's 'soft' message with statement win over Knicks
So if this is soft, what exactly does that make the New York Knicks? Just 24 hours after having a clear lack of toughness in New Orleans, the Mavericks manned up for the fourth game in five nights and the show of force was more than enough to completely dismantle the new-look Knicks, 127-109, Thursday night at American Airlines Center.

Kobe draws headlines, just ho-hum to team - Dallas Mavericks Blog
Kobe Bryant's post-game shoot-a-thon Thursday night after his Los Angeles Lakers again became the only elite team the Miami Heat can beat, didn't impress his coach or teammates as much as it seemed to wow the onlooking press. To be fair to media brethren everywhere, the odd scene surely was quite the attention-grabber. It isn't everyday you see a superstar return to the court after a game to conduct a self-workout.