The Los Angeles Lakers have played rather well since the trade deadline, as they are looking to secure a playoff spot, but they have also had a couple of disappointing and arguably inexcusable losses.
One of them came on Wednesday when they fell 114-110 to the Houston Rockets after they were unable to defend the paint or control the boards.
At this point, the Lakers are in ninth place in the Western Conference, but with LeBron James out due to a right foot tendon injury, they will need some help from other teams, as well as some good fortune.
They will host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, and luckily for them, Luka Doncic will be out with a thigh injury, while Kyrie Irving is questionable with right foot soreness.
The Mavs are just one game ahead of the Lakers in the standings in eighth place. A win over them would tie the season series, and even though Dallas would still hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a better record versus Western Conference teams, the Lakers would be just one game behind it in the loss column in that category.
This will be the first game of a five-game homestand for Los Angeles. Overall, eight of its 12 remaining regular season games will be at Crypto.com Arena, which includes a road game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire