Like other teams before them, the Los Angeles Lakers are finding it hard to handle the loss of LeBron James, and they carry a season high-tying three-game losing streak into Monday's visit to the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers are 1-5 since James was lost to a groin strain and they offered little resistance in a 108-86 loss at Minnesota on Sunday.
Power forward Kyle Kuzma (back) missed his second straight game for Los Angeles, which received only 34 points on 11-for-41 shooting from its starters. The Mavericks have played just two home games since Dec. 16 and are coming off a 1-3 road trip capped by a 106-100 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday. "At home, we're great," rookie Luke Doncic told reporters of his team's 15-3 home mark and 3-18 road record. "But we got to figure out the road. For sure we can do it. We have great guys. We just got to figure out things." Doncic had 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting in Saturday's loss.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), FS Southwest (Dallas) LINE: Mavericks -7.5
ABOUT THE LAKERS (21-19): Los Angeles was outscored 35-19 in the first quarter Sunday after falling behind by 14 points through one period in Friday's home loss to the struggling New York Knicks, an ugly trend for a team low on weapons. "Offensively our guys were trying to play the right way, we just weren't making shots, but defensively it's unacceptable that we let that many points in," coach Luke Walton told reporters Sunday. "That's the second game in a row a team has come in in the first quarter and just scored at will." Lonzo Ball missed all four of his shots in 23 scoreless minutes at Minnesota while fellow guard Josh Hart is 5-for-23 from the field over the last two games.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (18-21): A bright spot in the loss to Philadelphia was a 13-point, 11-rebound, eight-assist effort for rookie Jalen Brunson, who enjoyed a return trip to where he led Villanova to a pair of national championships. "(Brunson) was terrific all around," coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "These homecoming games can be emotional and difficult and he looked like he was right at home. I was happy for him. He did a lot of very, very good things." Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had a very different experience with a season-low two points and he's 5-for-17 from the floor over the last two contests.
1. The Lakers won the first two meetings this season and have taken four in a row overall.
2. Los Angeles SF Brandon Ingram is 21-of-58 from the field - 0-of-4 from 3-point range - in January.
3. Mavericks rookie SG Ryan Broekhoff had a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting at Philadelphia.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 113, Lakers 106 Bet Now
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