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Five takeaways from the Lakers' 120-106 loss to the Dallas Mavericks

Five things to take away from the Lakers' 120-106 loss to the Dallas Mavericks

The Lakers (21-59) fell on Sunday night to the Dallas Mavericks (49-31).  Here are five takeaways from the Lakers' 120-106 loss at Staples Center.

1) In the final game of his 10-day contract, point guard Dwight Buycks suffered a broken right hand.

Through six games with the Lakers, Buycks averaged 8.4 points and 2.4 assists a game, shooting 48.3% from the field and 77.8% from three-point range.

The Lakers also lost Wesley Johnson to a sprained ankle, making him doubtful for Monday night in Sacramento against the Kings -- and possibly done for the season.

If the Lakers look to replace Buycks, it may be difficult for the team to get someone to Sacramento, prepped and ready to help the team, by tipoff.

Buycks was understandably devastated after the game, declining to speak with the media.

2) Tarik Black had a big night on the glass, pulling down 19 rebounds.  He's the first Lakers rookie since Leroy Ellis in 1963 to pull down at least 19 in a game.

Including Black, only four rookies have hit that mark since the 2009-10 season (Gorgui Dieng, John Henson and DeJuan Blair).

"I just saw the ball coming off the board and paid attention to all of them," said Black. "I saw that our game was slow rebounding, and I knew we had to step up the effort -- so that's what I did."

Coach Byron Scott said he thinks Black's long-term position in the NBA is at power forward, given his smaller size (6 foot 9, if that) -- but he's primarily played center through his rookie season both with the Lakers and Houston Rockets.

3) Johnson's sprained ankle probably means Ryan Kelly will start Monday, out of position at small forward.

Scott experimented with Kelly throughout much of the season at the three, but the concept was abandoned as the natural power forward struggled.

"Ryan will have to go back to the three spot," said Scott. "Jabari [Brown] could play the three, or something like that. It just kind of depends I guess. It's going to be a weird lineup out there tomorrow night."

Scott spoke before learning of Buycks' injury. Jordan Clarkson and Brown are the team's only available guards.

Through Kelly's last five games, he's averaged 5.2 assists a night at power forward. He may struggle to match that production once moved back to the three.

4) "What could happen next? But I don't want to dare ask that question," said Scott after the Johnson injury.

Too late.  Answer -- the Buycks broken hand.

"It's one of those things where you just shake your head and say, 'Listen, hopefully we've got seven or eight guys healthy for the next two games and we can finish it out.'"

The team should have Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre, Clarkson, Brown, Kelly and Black.

That's six power forwards and/or centers and two guards.

5) The Lakers are locked in at fourth in May's NBA draft lottery, giving the team an 82.8% chance of keeping a top-five pick in June, otherwise it will go to the Philadelphia 76ers, via the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash.

The team will also receive a 2015 first-rounder from the Houston Rockets (54-26), which would currently fall in the 25 to 27 range, depending on tiebreakers generated by the league after the season -- presuming the Memphis Grizzlies (54-26) and Clippers (54-26) finish with the same record.

The various in-season playoff tiebreakers, such as head-to-head matchups and division records, have no bearing on draft order.

The Lakers will also get the Clippers' second-rounder if it's in the 51-55 range, currently at 55, 56 or 57 -- depending on tiebreaker.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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