LAKERS (30-7) AT MAVS (23-14)
Time: 8:45 p.m. CT
About the Lakers: It’s nearly halfway through the season and the Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference and the second-best record in the NBA behind the Milwaukee Bucks. . .This is the first game of a back-to-back for the Lakers, who play at Oklahoma City on Saturday before returning home to entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. . .Behind LeBron James, the Lakers have won their last six games and also own the league’s best record on the road at 15-3. James averages 25.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg, and also leads the NBA in assists with 10.8 apg. . .The Lakers may be without their second-best player tonight as Anthony Davis, who suffered a gluteus maximus contusion during Tuesday’s 117-87 victory over the New York Knicks, is listed as questionable to play against the Mavs. Davis averages 27.1 ppg and 9.4 rpg, and is second in the league in blocks with 2.6 bpg. . .If Davis doesn’t play tonight, that could mean more minutes for Dwight Howard, who has been a model of consistency this season while coming off the bench. In the 30-point win over the Knicks Tuesday, Howard contributed eight points, a season-high tying 13 rebounds and also equaled his season high with five blocked shots in 25 minutes. In the Lakers’ previous game Sunday against the Detroit Pistons, Howard had 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in 21 minutes. . .The Lakers have been on a shot-blocking frenzy lately. In addition to the 11 blocks they accumulated against the Knicks, they had a remarkable 20 blocks – eight by Davis — in the 106-99 win over the Pistons. That’s the most blocks by any NBA team since March of 2001.