Thursday , Jan , 22 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Streaking Mavericks welcome struggling Lakers

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – The injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers try to
put the brakes on a two-game losing streak tonight when they visit Dirk
Nowitzki and the streaking Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

This is the fourth meeting this season between the two squads. After LA won
the first two games, the Mavericks defeated the Lakers 110-93 on December 12,
2003 at Staples Center. With the win, Dallas ended a 26-game road losing
steak in this series and also snapped a five-game losing streak to the Lakers.

The Lakers, who have won two straight at Dallas, fell to the Memphis
Grizzlies, 88-82, on Wednesday, at The Pyramid. Gary Payton had a game-high 24
points for the Lakers, who have dropped eight straight road games for the
first time since the 1988-89 season.

Los Angeles, which played without All-Stars Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and
Karl Malone, fell to 2-3 without the big three in the lineup. O’Neal is
expected to miss tonight’s game with a right calf injury, while Bryant and
Malone are on the injured list.

The Lakers are 6-11 on the road this season.

Dallas comes into tonight’s contest on a five-game winning streak.

On Tuesday, Antoine Walker scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his
19th double-double as the Mavericks defeated the New Jersey Nets, 106-93, at
American Airlines Center.

Nowitzki recorded 19 points and 10 boards for the Mavericks, winners of 10 of
their last 14 contests. Michael Finley added 18, as did Steve Nash, who
returned from a one-game absence stemming from a sore hip

The Mavs, who have won two straight and six of their last seven at home, are
an impressive 18-3 as the host this season.