A quick note about the Mavs game and the Lakers in general before I really get into the preview.

The Mavs game was a microcosm of how the season has gone for Dallas. I think the game showed a little more about which direction the Mavericks are going as opposed to the Rockets.

Dallas was coming off humiliation against a team it had dominated in previous meetings. They were playing at home, in front of a crowd that expected them to win and still make a late charge for the playoffs. The Mavs got fantastic games from five players by my count, whereas most of the Rockets played like garbage (Parsons and Asik were co-MVPs in my book, with Harden doing well to get to the line when his shot wouldn't fall).

The Mavs outshot the Rockets from the field and from 3. They had fewer turnovers, passed the ball better than the Rockets, prevented the good guys from getting on the break, and really dominated every aspect of the game while being the more desperate team and playing at home.

And they won by 4.