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THE SECOND HALF

Looking Ahead

January 20, 2008|Mark Heisler

Ready or not, here they come, with "not" going off as the betting favorite:

The Lakers, who are 1-1 since Andrew Bynum's injury, are headed for Texas to play the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday and the Mavericks in Dallas on Friday.

Both opponents have had their own problems -- like the Phoenix Suns, who jumped all over the Lakers after losing to the Clippers with Amare Stoudemire noting, "To me, this is the biggest game of the year so far."

The Spurs started 17-3 but have flattened out; their loss to Houston on Saturday night was their fourth in the last six games.

The Mavericks started 12-8 and are already in the midst of a rally, having won 14 of 18.

For the Lakers, it's just the start of a stretch in which they'll play 14 of 17 on the road, so one way or another, it'll be a test.

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