Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks preview

Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks preview
Dallas Mavericks center Dirk Nowitzki looks to pass in front of Lakers forward Jordan Hill during a game at Staples Center on March 8. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The Lakers (21-58) host the Dallas Mavericks (48-31) on Sunday at Staples Center.

Dallas is a playoff team. The Lakers were long ago eliminated, but the game should be competitive despite injuries.

Jeremy Lin (knee), Wayne Ellington (shoulder), Nick Young (knee), Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder) and Julius Randle (knee) are all out.

Chandler Parsons (knee) is questionable for the Mavericks.

Key matchup

Ryan Kelly, finally playing his natural position at power forward after Coach Byron Scott experimented with the Duke product at the three, scored 21 points with seven assists on Friday as the Lakers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kelly added 17 points on six-of-eight shooting in the Lakers' loss to the Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday.

On Sunday, he'll likely draw the defensive assignment against Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki.

Nowitzki, the former NBA most valuable player, is averaging 17.2 points a night this season, shooting 45.8% from the field and 38.3% from three-point range.

Kelly is at 11.8 points a night through six games in April, shooting 43.9% and 42.3%, respectively.


After a difficult game against the Clippers last Sunday, scoring just two points, Jordan Clarkson has rebounded with 19.7 points, eight assists and two steals a game over his past three contests (including a rematch against the Clippers).

Clarkson will likely get time defensively against Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis.

Rondo is a true point guard, looking first to get his teammates going. Ellis is a high-volume scorer.


Dallas isn't fighting for playoff position as they've locked in the Western Conference's seventh seed, but, as they displayed in their double-overtime win in Denver on Friday, they're still playing to win.

Put the Mavericks down as Sunday's victor as well.

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