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Looking ahead in the NBA: Lakers play at Dallas on Wednesday

January 16, 2011

LAKERS AT DALLAS: Wednesday at 6 p.m. TV: ESPN

Oklahoma City is at the Lakers and Orlando plays at Boston on Monday, but we'll go with Wednesday's matchup. The Mavericks have long yearned to rumble with the Lakers, as when owner Mark Cuban portrayed Shaquille O'Neal as Fat Albert on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the Mavericks were only there at the end in the three seasons between Shaq and Pau Gasol. These aren't those Mavericks, going 24-6 with Tyson Chandler, or weren't before going 2-7 with Dirk Nowitzki out. Once four games up on the Lakers in the battle for home court in the playoffs, the Mavericks are now three behind. The Lakers have their own issues but are 9-1 since their last big test in Texas, which they failed spectacularly in San Antonio.

— Mark Heisler

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