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Saturday, November 24, 2012
W2W4: Mavs try to keep Lakers' road woes going

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS – The Lakers arrive in Dallas with heavy legs and looking for their first road win.

This will be L.A.’s fourth game in five nights. They left home with a three-game winning streak after Tuesday’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets, but got blown out the next night in Sacramento and dropped to 0-4 on the road with last night’s loss in Memphis.

With Steve Nash still recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his left leg, the Lakers’ star-studded frontcourt has struggled on this road trip.

Center Dwight Howard had only 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting in the two losses. He was especially awful against the Grizzlies, when he had seven points on 2-of-7 shooting and finished with more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four).

Power forward Pau Gasol has 14 points and 13 rebounds during the road trip so far, making only six of 18 shots from the floor.

Records: Mavs (7-6); Lakers (6-7)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center

TV: FSSW

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Can Brandan Wright give the Mavs an energy boost? He’s fallen out of favor with Rick Carlisle due to poor rebounding, getting a pair of DNP-CDs in the last five games, but his length and athleticism could help against the long Lakers’ frontcourt, especially with Troy Murphy battling an upper respiratory illness. Wright made an impact in the Mavs’ Oct. 30 win, scoring 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting, grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots in 20 minutes.

Key matchup: Darren Collison vs. Darius Morris – Collison dominated his matchup with Nash during the Mavs’ season-opening win, scoring 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting while Nash looked lost in since-fired coach Mike Brown’s Princeton offense. The Mavs need him to get the best of Morris, the Lakers’ third-string point guard.

Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. PF Troy Murphy (illness) is probable. Lakers – PG Steve Nash (leg) is out. PG Steve Blake (abdominal strain) is day-to-day.

Up next: at Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, 6 p.m.