The Los Angeles Lakers have won three straight games by leaning on their big men while Kobe Bryant has sat out. Bryant, who is dealing with a bruised shin, is questionable for Sunday, when the Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks in what could be a preview of a first-round playoff series. The Mavericks have worked their way to sixth in the Western Conference while Los Angeles sits in third. Dallas swept the Lakers in the playoffs last spring.
Mavericks Lakers Betting
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 15, 2012
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Opening Line is: Los Angeles Lakers Point Spread -1.5 (-110) Money line -1.5 Total 189 Click here to Bet at Bovada
Dallas Mavericks (34-26): Dallas will not be bringing former Laker Lamar Odom, who was sent home from the team, to the Staples Center but will have their own momentum with a three-game winning streak. The Mavericks are still hoping to surpass the Memphis Grizzlies and climb into fifth place in the West but have a tough slate with five of their last six games against teams over .500. Dallas may have cruised past Los Angeles in the playoffs last spring but the regular season has been a different story. The Mavericks have dropped each of the first three meetings while averaging 84.7 points. They suffered an ugly 73-70 loss in their first trip to Staples Center on Jan. 16.
Los Angeles Lakers (38-22): Los Angeles can give Bryant all the time he needs if Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol keep playing at their current pace. Bynum scored 30 points against the Denver Nuggets on Friday after grabbing 30 rebounds at San Antonio on Wednesday. Gasol has posted three double-doubles in the four games Bryant has missed. The rest of the supporting cast has stepped up as well, with Matt Barnes going for a season-high 24 points on Friday and Metta World Peace reaching double figures in four of the last five contests. The Lakers are still fighting off the Los Angeles Clippers, who are only one game back in the Pacific Division.
1. The Lakers clinched their 59th playoff berth in 64 seasons on Friday.
2. Los Angeles G Ramon Sessions is playing through a sprained left shoulder.
3. Dallas G Rodrigue Beaubois left Friday’s game with a strained right calf.
PREDICTION: Lakers 98, Mavericks 94. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$