The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are set to begin their Western Conference Semifinal Monday night in LA. It is their first playoff matchup since the infamous - at least in Dallas - seven-game Conference Final in 1988. It was the third series in five years between the two 80's powers, all won by the Lakers. LA won conference Semifinals in 1984 and 1986 in five and six games. In the renewal of the rivalry, the Lakers have home court and are once again favored, despite even 57-25 records. The Lakers won Game 1 in those series by 43, 14 and 15, and Phil Jackson's teams have won their last 48 series when they win Game 1.
Game 1 - Mon May 2, Dallas at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m. CDT, TNT
Game 2 - Wed May 4, Dallas at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m. CDT, TNT
Game 3 - Fri May 6, L.A. Lakers at Dallas, TBD, ESPN
Game 4 - Sun May 8, L.A. Lakers at Dallas, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ABC
Game 5 - Tue May 10, Dallas at L.A. Lakers, TBD, TNT
Game 6 - Thu May 12, L.A. Lakers at Dallas, TBD, ESPN
Game 7 - Sun May 15, Dallas at L.A. Lakers, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ABC
Mavericks - Caron Butler will not play, Rodrigue Beaubois is expected to be available after returning for Game 6 of the Conference Quarterfinal.
Lakers - Kobe Bryant is still affected by an ankle injury but will play.
January 19: Mavericks 109-100 Lakers
March 12: Lakers 96-91 Mavericks
March 31: Lakers 110-82 Mavericks