Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 12th 2023

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The Los Angeles Lakers will look to build on their NBA in-season tournament title when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

The Lakers captured the inaugural event in impressive fashion, winning seven straight games by a total of 135 points, capped by a 123-109 triumph over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, its regular-season form hasn’t been nearly as good. The Lakers have won just five of their past 12 non-tournament games, having alternated losses and wins over their past 10.

Flipping the switch from the bright lights of Las Vegas to just another December trip to Dallas might not be easy for the Lakers.

On Sunday, LeBron James was in attendance in Los Angeles when his oldest son, Bronny, made his collegiate debut for Southern California.

On Monday, the Lakers announced plans to raise the in-season tournament banner into the rafters when they return home from a three-game trip to face the New York Knicks on Dec. 18.

When the Lakers travel to play the Mavericks on Tuesday, Dallas might be without Kyrie Irving, who sat out the team’s 120-113 win at Memphis on Monday due to a bruised right heel.

James, who teamed with Irving during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship run in 2016, explained over the weekend why his current relationship with Anthony Davis is different.

“There’s no friction,” James said. “We’re not trying to compete with one another on the court or on a lifestyle basis. He knows who he is. I know who I am.

“The only thing we’re trying to do is hold each other accountable when we get to work and try to be the best we can be for each other, and when one is not going well, try to pick each other up. There’s no jealousy. Ever.”

The Mavericks also were without Tim Hardaway Jr. (back spasms) against the Grizzlies. Luka Doncic had 35 points and Dereck Lively II added 16 points and 16 rebounds in the win.

The last time the Mavericks played the Lakers, Doncic scored 30 points and Irving added 28 in Dallas’ 104-101 win on Nov. 22. James finished with 26 points and Davis was held to 10.

Both teams hope to get key players back from injury within the next week.

The Lakers’ Gabe Vincent, out since Oct. 30 with a strained left knee, has been working out and is tentatively slated to rejoin the team at home on Dec. 18. Meanwhile, the Mavericks are planning to have Grant Williams return either against the Lakers or on Thursday against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves. He sat out the past three games with a sore right knee.

“He’s had good workouts here of late,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said Monday of Williams, “so hopefully he’s back on one or two of the games we have at home.”

–Field Level Media

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