The (43-14) Los Angeles Lakers are in Texas for a back-to-back game against the (36-21) Dallas Mavericks.

Despite the fact that the Lakers fared well without Kobe, the team and the fans are equally elated to have him back. He returned from a much needed 18-day rest from an ankle injury just in time to save the Lakers from losing to the Grizzlies, again.

Kobe was brilliant in his first game back, playing 40-minutes, filling the stat sheet with 32 points with seven boards, six assists, three steals, two blocked shots, and knocked down the game winning three pointer with 4.3 seconds left to finish off the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bryant is currently 14th on the All-Time scoring list, prior to 6:30pm he will pass Reggie Miller and move up to 13th, 335 points behind Alex English; he will surpass the Hall of Famers point total of 25,613 on March 21st at Staples Center against the Wizards or sooner. Bryant is averaging 15 points against Dallas this season, look for that to change.

Pau Gasol had a solid game posting a double-double with 22 points, 13 boards and an excellent defensive closeout on O.J. Mayo’s attempt at the end of the game.

The good news coming out of Tuesday’s game is that the Lakers got off to a good start and won the game on Kobe’s 5th game winning shot of the season. The bad news is that the Lakers seem to stop playing defense in the middle of the game, shot badly from the free throw line, and were out-rebounded.

The Lakers will face the new-look Mavericks tonight in a battle of two of the best teams in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks, beneficiaries of the Wizards fire sale have added solid pieces in Caron Butler, Brendon Haywood, and DeShawn Stephenson. Caron learned a lot from playing with Kobe (see article “Caron Grateful He Was Kobe’s teammate”); it’s quite evident that Kobe made him a better player. Haywood gives the Mavericks a better more productive option in the post than Erik Dampier.

The Lakers are very familiar with this team; well aware of the fact that Jason Kidd will push the ball down the court, runs the show for this team, can and will distribute the ball to his teammates in position to be effective. He isn’t the best shooter from behind the arc, but he can and will knock that shot down. Kidd can play in the post and back down smaller guards.

The Lakers have to make life difficult for Dirk Nowitzki and limit the impact of Jason Terry off the bench who will come into looking to light it up. The Lakers have to force him into a bad shooting night. Butler has benefited from the change in scenery. The Mavericks use a lot of screen and roll action plays down screens, back screens, etc. to free up Butler to display his mid-range game or attack the basket.

The Lakers have to control the tempo, pick up their intensity on defense, out-rebound this team, and the Lakers bench has to step their game up and score at least 30 points or more to match the production of the Dallas bench. The Lakers frontline has to come out aggressive from the start of the game get a lead to take the crowd out of the game.

The Purple and Gold will win by outworking the Mavericks, using excellent ball movement, and excellent player movement.

Tip-off: 6:00 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: ESPN & KCAL (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Dallas: ESPN & KTXA 21 (Mark Followill & Brad Davis)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Dallas: ESPN 103.3 (Bob Ortegal & Chuck Cooperstein)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Luke Walton (Back) Out
  • Kobe Bryant ( Sprained Tendon, Left Ankle/Avulsion fracture, right index finger)
  • Sasha Vujacic (Sprained Shoulder) Out
  • Andrew Bynum (Bruised Right Hip)

Mavericks:

  • PF Tim Thomas (Personal Reasons)
  • C Erik Dampier (Dislocated Right Middle Finger) Out
  • lakerbunny

    THERE ARE 175 TICKETS FOR FRIDAYS LAKER GAME! GO TO LAKERS.COM AND CLICK ON THE TICKETEXCHANGE BUTTON OR GO TO TEAMEXCHANGE.TICKETMASTER.COM AND CLICK ON LA LAKERS!

  • lakerbunny

    LAKERS SHOULD GO AFTER ILGAUSKAS! IT WOULD ONLY COST THEM $653,000 ACCORDING TO NBA.COM! DOUBLING THE $326,500 HE WOULD EARN FOR THE LUXURY TAX! IT WOULD SCREW UP THE CAVS PLANS AND GIVE THEM A DEEPER BENCH!

  • Josh in Da 310

    Ilgauskas is too ugly to be a Laker

    • expo

      LOL!!!!!!!

      • islandgirl024

        I did not know that having nice looks is a requirement in the Lakers recruitment process.

        But then again it is Hollywood, right?!

        That was funny!!!!!

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    he`s also to educated……………….

    • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Green Flannel

      wow, you used the word to in the wrong context. dumb ass, and you want to talk about education.

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    watching the lakers/mavs game dude it looks like jay-z got make up on somebody tell that n!@gga 2 take of them shades only supposed 2 wear them when he’s in LA where they really sport shades with real stars , who’s he sitting next 2 mark cuban family come on jay take the cover-all off leave that 2 ” b ” you cant pretty that mugg up he’s got the money 2 try though ,only a mugg moma can love and “b “” men lie ,women lie that mugg don’t

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    i think the media is blowing up how important ilgeskus is he’s playing on straight cartilidge in those knees he has that won shot (top of the key) mobenga has more upside with him ,david stern has already put his mac hand down about ilgeskus trying 2 go back 2 cleveland you can count on that rule getting changed permentley in the off-season

  • LGM10

    I like how in the injury section it says kobe “Avulsion fracture, right index finger” and erik dampier “dislocated right middle finger” but one is playing while the other is not.

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    i know this has nothing 2 do with the lakers but i told my cuzzins who live in portland that if they passed on durant it wouldbe another jordan miss you see when you listen 2 the media and all these so-called professionals you will look stupid when these so called profeesionals turn on you and say damm how can you pass on him bum ass greg odem

    • islandgirl024

      I asked several Trail Blazer fans here in Portland if they regret taking Oden when they could have had the so-called “Second Pick” of the draft and boy do they say “YES!!!!”

      Oden is so young but is so injury prone this questioin is definitely rubbing salt on the wound!!

  • expo

    this team is retarded…. enough to make a person go crazy!!

  • drive-for-16th

    PAU IS LAZY AS FUCK, AND WE NEED A BACK UP FOR KOBE, WE CANNOT BEAT ELITE TEAMS.

  • drive-for-16th

    AND ANDREW BYNUM TRAVELS ALL THE WAY TO FUKIN EUROPE, HES TOO SLOPPY

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    ”’WTF” gasol still soft as hot cheddar ,bynum on his way 2 breaking the all-time TRAVELING record by centers ,lakers got a soft gene they need 2 adress ,even 2 the point where deshaun stevenson got physical with artest and he had this look like he didn’t want 2 get back at him hey ron ,hey phil let the pit bull of the leash aint that what you brought him here 4 . damm this team is so damm ALOOF

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    9 for 23?no hero shot tonight?LEBRONZE IS SMILING!

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    PUSHED AROUND BYE DALLAS?Times are a changing, good thing yougot a cupcake friday ,Denver is gonna push harder than DALLAS…………….MISSEDTHE SHOT TONIGHT BRYANT?

    • islandgirl024

      Really, do you have anything better to do than post your inconstructive comments on a Lakers ‘ fan board?!

      And incidentally, your grammar and spelling skills are horrible! – If you’re going to post your stupid comments on this board, could you at least make sure that your grammar is correct before you hit the “Add Comment” button as it really makes you look asanine!

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    Talent is not going 2 do it this year ,we need toughness talent did it last year but we’ve got swept by cleveland ,denver has whooped on us twice ,and we let a soft ass dallas team push us around out rebound us man-handle us gasol where the hell was his head tonight !!!!!!!

  • sheets&socks

    WTF…… What is with this nice Kobe? I’ve had enough I want the old Kobe back….. did he just say Lebronze was better??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • expo

    lol…. Andrew does not practice tact!!!!

  • http://yahoo jaydubb415

    YEA WTF KOBE YOU’RE SMILING GOING 2 GIVE JAY-Z DAPP AFTER THE GAME F!!CK JAY-Z AND BEYONCE WHEN IT COMES 2 THE LAKERS AND WINNING YOU WOULD OF NEVER SAW THAT SH!!T LAST YEAR LEAVE THAT SWEATING JAY-Z BALLS 2 LEBRON WE ARE ALL ABOUT WINNING WE DO NOT SWEAT STARS THEY SWEAT US WHERE IS THAT HUNGER I NEED THAT PISSED OFF KOBE AFTER THE GAME !!!

  • Bee-D-Bee’s

    Umm…can the Bigs put at least 2 good games, at the SAME TIME 2gether PLEASE!!!???

    …Pau and Andrew!!! WTF guys!? SOFT SOFT SOFT SOFT!!!! No heart and soft as hell!!! Where the hell was the bench??? Why doesn’t anyone yell at Pau and Andrew? Just one time I want Kobe or Coach to yell at them…light a fricken’ fire.

    And that smile and saying hi to Jay Z thing…NOT COOL Kobe!