Lakers at Mavericks
The Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly on a roll and are learning to fight through some in-game adversity. The Lakers will try to push their season-long winning streak to four in a row when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in the opener of a three-game road trip.
Los Angeles, which dropped nine in a row to fall into last place in the Western Conference before turning things around of late, squandered a 19-point lead to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday before coming through in the fourth quarter and earning a 93-81 win. "We responded like a team that has failed a lot and kind of got sick of it," Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters. "Because we were at that same point again, we've seen that same point many times this year." The Mavericks spent the last few weeks making their own climb out of the bottom in the west and are winners of back-to-back games after knocking off the Charlotte Hornets 115-111 on the road Wednesday. "I'm excited with the way we're playing," Dallas forward Harrison Barnes told reporters. "I think we're competing harder and we're executing better. And it's a long road ahead, but we've just got to continue taking it one game at a time."
TV: 2 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE LAKERS (14-27): Los Angeles allowed an average of 118 points during its nine-game slide but is getting stronger on the defensive end and held each of its last two opponents under 90. The Lakers forced 20 turnovers and limited the Spurs to 40.8 percent from the field in Thursday's triumph. "We haven't got the final results that we always want, but for being a somewhat new group and a young team, I'm happy with the way our guys have played," Walton told reporters. "And more importantly, the way they've worked and the habits that they continue to build."
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (15-28): Barnes is 14-of-22 from the floor in the last two games and recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 25 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday. "(Barnes) closed the game. I mean, he was absolutely brilliant," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "He hit on a variety of shots -- twos, threes, drives. And look, that's what great players do. I was real proud of him. You know, he had a pretty good rhythm going all night, and we just needed to get the ball in his hands." Barnes is averaging 20.4 points over the last 13 games to raise his season average to 18.8, and the Mavericks are 7-6 in that span.
1. Mavericks PG Yogi Ferrell is 9-of-13 from 3-point range over the last two games.
2. Lakers PF Julius Randle went scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting on Thursday after dropping 22 points on 8-of-13 in the previous contest.
3. Dallas is enjoying a 14-game winning streak in the series.