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10 Things to Know: Lakers at Mavericks (3/7/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers pay a visit to the Dallas Mavericks.
1) The Lakers continue to search for their first post-All-Star break win after a down-to-the-wire battle with New Orleans on Sunday. Led by D’Angelo Russell, Los Angeles ignited for a 16-2 run to tie at 97 with only two minutes left. But that was as far as it would get, as the Pelicans scored the game’s final eight points.
HIGHLIGHTS: Lakers rally back in the fourth, but drop this one to the Pelicans, 105-97. pic.twitter.com/HDOA9YRNqG— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 6, 2017
2) It was a busy weekend for the newest Laker, David Nwaba, who played in the NBA on Friday and Sunday, while also making a visit to the D-League on Saturday. The defensive specialist hasn’t yet filled the stat sheet for the Lakers, but he did score 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the D-Fenders’ loss to Raptors 905.
3) The Lakers are looking to erase the sting of their last visit to Dallas. Back on Jan. 22, L.A. was handed its worst defeat in franchise history as it was shellacked by the Mavericks, 122-73. Dallas knocked down 17 3-pointers in that game, while the Lakers shot 3-of-21 from deep.
4) The Mavericks’ performance was especially stunning considering that they average a league-low 97.9 points per game. In addition, they rank last in rebounds (38.4) and blocks (3.7). However, Dallas has been making big strides lately.
5) The Mavericks had hovered near the bottom of the conference standings for most of the year, but are now suddenly just 2.5 games behind Denver for the eighth seed in the playoffs. Dallas has gone 4-2 since All-Star Weekend, primarily through some tough defense, as it is allowing a league-low 93.0 points per game in that span.
6) Seth Curry has been at the forefront of his team’s surge, averaging 23.3 points on 57.8 percent shooting post-All-Star. The brother of two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry has showed that he can let it fly as well, as Seth currently ranks fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage (43.2) and is shooting the best field goal percentage among guards (48.5).
7) The Mavericks have also relied on leading scorer Harrison Barnes, who is averaging 20.1 points. The Olympic gold medalist has scored double figures in 60 of 62 games this year. Ironically, one of the times he didn’t was the aforementioned meeting with the Lakers, as he was held to six points on 3-of-12 shooting while the rest of his team caught fire.
8) This night has a chance to be a historic one for the legendary Dirk Nowitzki, who is only 20 points away from becoming the sixth player in NBA history to score 30,000 in his career. However, Nowitzki is averaging his fewest points since his rookie season and has only reached 20 five times this year.
9) The Mavericks have found a revelation in Yogi Ferrell, who went undrafted and played for the D-League’s Long Island Nets before getting called up. The team’s new starting point guard was named the Western Conference’s February Rookie of the Month and currently ranks second among first-year players in assists (3.7) and fourth in scoring (9.6).
10) Dallas recently brought in another young piece by trading for Nerlens Noel. Known for his defensive prowess, Noel showed off on the glass for his new team, racking up a career-high 17 rebounds in Friday’s win over Memphis.
Lakers: Larry Nance Jr. (right wrist sprain) and Ivica Zubac (right quad contusion) are questionable.
Mavericks: J.J. Barea (left calf strain) is doubtful.
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
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