The Lakers come in off an impressive victory over a high-powered Kings team that has given fits to a lot of teams over the last month. They even made a concerted effort on the defensive side of the ball holding the Kings to 61 points over the last 3 quarters after yielding a whopping 37 points in the first quarter. Could the inspired defensive effort be related to a suddenly precarious hold on the last playoff spot?

For all of their ups and downs, the Lakers have been good at home in 2013 losing only to the likes of the Nuggets, Heat, Thunder, and Clippers before their gaffe against the Wizards, a game in which they were up by as much as 18. They are 8-11 ATS at home in 2013, but they have had several impressive covers against the Jazz, Bulls, Celtics, and Thunder. Even in several of their non-covers(i.e Hawks, Wizards, Suns), the Lakers had big leads only to cough them up. While that shouldn’t be condoned, it bears mentioning that this Lakers team has been dominant in several stretches of different games, just not for the entire games.

The Mavs do deserve credit I suppose for scraping out victories against the Clippers and Bulls, but haven’t been as impressive as their rise back to .500 would indicate. They were beaten soundly at home by the Nets and Pacers and were very fortunate in the aforementioned Clippers and Bulls games.

In what amounts to a game in which the Lakers will most likely cover should they win outright, I can’t see the Mavs pulling through here. The urgency will be there for the Mavs as will a sense of revenge for the loss the Lakers gave them in Dallas a little over a month ago, but that’s just giving Laker backers a better line. It’s put up or shut up time and the Lakers are better and at home.

Play: Lakers -3

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