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Lakers keep sights on Dallas

The Lakers are not dwelling on the sliding San Antonio Spurs, who have the best record in the NBA. The Lakers have a one-game lead over the Mavericks, whom they host Thursday, for second-best record in the West.

March 29, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, drives around Dallas guard Jason Kidd during a game on March 13. The Lakers are hoping to stay ahead of the Mavericks and secure second place in the Western Conference.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, drives around Dallas guard Jason Kidd… (Mike Stone / Reuters )

Their attention is on the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers maintained, and not on the sliding San Antonio Spurs.

Besides, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said after practice Tuesday, it would be a "longshot" for his team to catch the Spurs for the league's best record.

The Lakers hold a one-game lead over the Mavericks for the second-best record in the Western Conference, a team they host Thursday night.

Lakers database: All things Lakers

Home-court advantage throughout the playoffs remains a goal for the Lakers, but it's not their primary focus.

"Without a doubt, you would always want to go for that," Jackson said. "But right now, our sights are Dallas and Thursday night's game."

The Lakers (53-20) are 3 1/2 games behind the Spurs for the best record in the NBA and tied with the Chicago Bulls for the second-best record in the league.

San Antonio, which has lost four consecutive games, has eight regular-season games left. The Lakers, who host the Spurs on April 12, have nine games left.

It would take a collapse by the Spurs for the Lakers to overtake San Antonio.

"It's still a real longshot for that," Jackson said. "They only have to win a couple of games here and we have to go perfect. So it's real difficult to see that. But we still play it out. It's still what we do."

After a shaky stretch, Lakers' reserves get it together

The Lakers took Monday off, went back to work Tuesday and will practice again Wednesday.

Kobe Bryant, who Sunday became the franchise leader in games played (1,094) ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Derek Fisher didn't practice Tuesday.

Lakers' surge

The Lakers 15-1 record after the All-Star break made them only the fifth team to produce that mark since the All-Star game was introduced in 1951. Three of the four teams to do so — Detroit (1989-90), Chicago (1990-91) and the Lakers (1999-2000) — went on to win the NBA championship.

Etc.

Rookie forward Devin Ebanks had an MRI exam Monday that showed he still has a stress fracture in his left tibia. The Lakers said he'll be out three more weeks…Rookie Derrick Caracter was assigned Tuesday to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League. Caracter, who has played in 40 games for the Lakers and averaged 5.2 minutes and 2.0 points, will play Wednesday night when the Jam plays at the Utah Flash…

Fisher was voted No. 4 of the top five floppers in the NBA in a recent Sports Illustrated poll...

The Lakers' charity golf event Monday raised more than $200,000, but it was the play of Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West that stole the show. West had a hole in one on the 16th hole at Riviera Country Club, which came with a prize.

Lakers spokesman John Black said the tournament offered a car for a prize on the fourth and 14th holes, a watch for the sixth hole and two Lakers tickets for the 16th hole, which was the prize West won.

Lakers blog

But West traded the tickets for the watch, which he then donated, along with an autographed golf ball. The two items were auctioned for $8,000, with the money going to the Lakers Youth Foundation.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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