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Game of the week: Lakers host Mavericks on Thursday

Thursday's matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks will decide the season series.

March 26, 2011|By Mark Heisler

LAKERS VS. DALLAS

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. TV: TNT

The stakes are the same, but the scene has shifted.

On March 12, the Lakers went to Dallas, 11/2 games behind the Mavericks, winners of 20 of 24 including the teams' only previous contest, for No. 2 in the West.

A win would have given the Mavericks the season series and a 21/2-game lead with 16 left — and left the Lakers looking at playing Dallas and San Antonio on the road, back-to-back, in the playoffs, assuming they got to the Spurs.

Instead, with Kobe Bryant leaving, returning and playing 33 minutes with a badly sprained ankle, the Lakers led almost wire-to-wire and won, 96-91.

Now the Lakers, winners of 13 of 14, lead the Mavericks with the season series to be decided in this game, but it's at Staples Center.

mark.heisler@latimes.com

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