The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks meet live this Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at Sky Sports Arena. Reporting includes reaction and pre-match analysis.

From Maryam Naz

11:39, UK, Saturday 25 February 2023

The revamped Dallas Mavericks take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday live at Sky Sports Arena at 8:30 p.m.

The Mavs have looked particularly rejuvenated in recent weeks, touting the best offense in the NBA with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Though the pair are still navigating an increasingly competitive Western Conference, early signs suggest they’ll be doing more than just working well together.

In their 58 minutes together so far, they’ve posted a 125.9 offensive rating, combined for points within the suit and chased down defenders on the passing lanes.

Against the San Antonio Spurs they reveled in attack. Doncic led in the first three quarters with 28 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, but it was Irving’s push early in the fourth quarter that ripped up the game and kept Doncic from having to re-enter. Irving finished the game with 23 points and six assists in just 30 minutes.

Dallas Mavericks duo Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both put on stellar performances to lead their team to a massive win over the San Antonio Spurs

Defense remains an issue for the Mavs, compounded by the absence of their top perimeter marker, Dorian Finney-Smith. But when you have such a strong frontcourt duo, sometimes it doesn’t matter.

That particular rhetoric doesn’t apply to the Lakers. They know they are in danger of missing the play-in tournament, as evidenced by their flurry of trade window moves that sealed the arrival of D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba.

While these players can improve the team, is it enough to catch up with the rest of the contenders vying for a playoff spot in the west?

Anthony Davis’ fitness remains a key component. So does James. The six-time All-Star captain recently opened up about his injury status, which was fused from a stress fracture in his foot. In the run-up to the 72nd All-Star fight, he then injured his ankle and his hand in the game itself.

It’s clear his dedication will play a big part in the Lakers’ ability to get through the regular season, and as head coach Darvin Ham has said, there can be no “rest days” in the closing stages. That’s it.

If you want to witness all that drama and excitement live then you’ve come to the right place. Sky Sports will stream the game live on YouTube.

… and can also be seen in the Sky Sports Arena on Sunday from 8:30 p.m.

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