Lakers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: League Pass

  • The Lakers are trying to avoid starting 0-5 on the road for the first time since losing their first six away games in 1993-94. “We have to win on the road,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “That’s the No. 1 challenge. I don’t care if you’re playing, you know, the Sisters of the Poor. That’s the No. 1 challenge. We’ve got to overcome the Lakers and the Lakers gotta play well.”
  • D’Antoni was asked to explain his decision to keep Pau Gasol on the bench during the entire fourth quarter of last night’s 106-98 loss in Memphis. “Pau’s a great guy and I didn’t try to disrespect him,” he said. “The way the game was going and Antawn (Jamison) was on fire and we were spreading the floor and hopefully that was helping Dwight (Howard) a little bit or whatever. I decided right at the end to just keep going with what I had because we cut it down to about six points with about three minutes to go. You make quick decisions and it had nothing to do with Pau.”
  • Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said they will use a defense-by-committee approach against Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s leading scorer at 27.5 points per game. “We’ve got to have a lot of different guys ready,” he said. “They played last night and we’re fresher. We need to keep fresh guys on him and keep as much pressure as we can on their team.”
  • Carlisle said that Mavericks forward Troy Murphy, who missed the second half of Wednesday’s win against the Knicks due to an upper respiratory illness, practiced today and is available tonight.

– Dave Ivey

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