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Game Thread: Mavericks (53-21) at Lakers (53-20)

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WHO: The Los Angeles Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks

WHAT: BATTLE FOR THE TWO-SEED... dun dun dunnnnn

WHERE: Staples Center (again), Los Angeles, CA

WHEN: 9:30pm CT (again)

HOW: TNT | KESN | KSPN | TSN2

THE STORY: The Mavericks sit just a half game back from the Lakers. And though Dallas has been playing exceedingly well on the road, they face a team that's just won 9 straight on their home court, and that hasn't played since Sunday. Size seems to be an issue with these two teams, since their guards are just that much bigger than the Mavs'. Although the Mavericks do a decent job of containing Kobe Bryant, they will have to try and focus on Andrew Bynum, who has had some recent success against this team. There are some links, as always, and grab your popcorn for a visit to Silver Screen and Roll.

Mavericks-Lakers Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The Dallas Mavericks have the best road record in the NBA, so the prospect of not having home-court advantage past the first round of the playoffs shouldn't seem all that daunting. The Los Angeles Lakers, however, have spent the last few months showing they're not particularly accommodating hosts.

Game Preview: Mavericks (53-21) at Lakers (53-20) - Mavs Fast Break
Thursday has been circled on the Dallas Mavericks’ calendar for quite some time now for many reasons, not the least has been the team’s tight race with the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Size always matters against the Lakers | Dallas Mavericks Blog
The Mavericks have three 7-footers on their team and another player who is a solid 6-11. And they are going to be the small team on the court tonight against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Lakers almost always have the size advantage against anybody, thanks to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, both of whom are at least 7-feet and in Bynum's case, probably bigger.

Dallas Mavericks Blog: B2Bs, JKidd Minutes and RonRon
The scheduling for this game was less than ideal from the Mavericks’ perspective. They’d rather not face the two-time defending champions when the Lakers have three days of rest and the Mavs are playing the butt end of a back-to-back. But it’s not like back-to-backs bother the Mavs, either.